By Tim Den
Victory has really expanded their empire since the early days of “metalcore is our only business.” Now the label dabbles in everything from kiddiemo to ska-punk to psychotic electronicore… ambitious or spreading themselves too thin? With Victory Style 5, you be the judge.
In between old-timers dropping by (Snapcase, the reunited-and-still-bad Strife, the reunited-and-better-than-ever musical Rubik’s Cube Bloodlet), Victory Style 5 is basically the label introducing their plethora of new signees. But for every promising glimmer, there seems to be darkness right behind it: Taking Back Sunday apparently likes Lifetime a bit too much, Armor For Sleep is a bit too clumsy in their Mock Orange impersonation… but at least Waterdown‘s still balancing mayhem and delicate technicality like pros. The usually horrid Catch 22 offers a surprisingly clever tune, while Voodoo Glow Skulls once again prove that they should’ve quit years ago. Someone forgot to tell Dead To Fall and Darkest Hour that even the singer (never mind the musicians) needs to be good when you’re trying to play death metal. Maybe Atreyu should give them some lessons? Emo superstars Thursdays are as melodramatic as ever, and they seemed to have encouraged a whole, younger generation to be as insipid as possible (Student*Rick). Ying-and-yang, isn’t it?
But overall, Victory Style 5 is a good overview of where the label’s at today. For your “cover every subgenre” needs, look no further. It can even induce vomiting (Grade‘s cover of “Ziggy Stardust”). Others: Blood For Blood, Snowdogs, Reach The Sky, Angela Delamorte, Hoods, River City Rebels, Electric Frankenstein, Ringworm, Minus.
(346 N. Justine St., Ste. 504 Chicago, IL 60607)