By: Nick Villers
Release Date: March 4th, 2022
FFO: Early-Mid 2000s Hardcore/Mathcore/Metalcore, Sanction, Dying Wish, Foreign Hands
This is the world of Vein.fm and we're just living in it. New England hardcore band Vein.fm formally written as Vein (although still spoken as) is back to follow up their 2018 Closed Casket Records debut, 'Errorzone', a complex and chaotic experience that blended modern and nostalgic sounds of hardcore/mathcore to the influences of Botch, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Deftones to develop a sound completely of their own. It received critical acclaim from all degrees of alternative music culture and ended up on many album of the year lists. Four years later, Vein.fm is back with 'This World is Going to Ruin You', on Closed Casket Records/Nuclear Blast Records recorded by Grammy winning producer Will Putney in April 2020 when the world entered the pandemic lockdown. Vein put it perfectly to describe the next iteration of their sound:
"Errorzone was entering another universe, This World is Going to Ruin You is Vein.fm coming home."
Vein.fm hasn't slowed down since 'Errorzone', especially over the last two years. They added the ".fm" to differentiate themselves from other bands likened to the same name and to further develop their "universe". Within their universe, they've put out multiple side/solo projects including Fleshwater, Living Weapon, Venom Benzo, and a reimagined remix of their own work called 'Old Data in a New Machine'. They've been busy.
With all that said, 'This World is Going to Ruin You' has finally walked through our door two years later. We've navigated one of the most frightening moments in our lifetime through the pandemic, which makes 'This World...' unique as it was captured in real-time uncertainty. Vein didn't necessarily set out to write a record influenced by the pandemic, as many artists did during this period. However, with what was going on in their world, what was happening globally, and how 'This World...' came together created a perfect storm. It is darker, emotional, and from what Vein coined "nightmarish" compared to the bright, complex world of 'Errorzone'. Locked away in a house together recorded over the course of four weeks, The imagery 'This World...' strangely invokes feelings we all felt during our most uncertain time, especially in spring 2020:
The album art depicts a boarded up home being torn away, creates feelings of being stuck inside with nowhere to hide...
The abrasiveness of "Versus Wyoming" makes you feel helpless in a tornado filled with madness...
The quiet horror the piano creates in "Funeral Sound" leaves you in isolated disarray...
'This World...' was described by vocalist Anthony DiDio as...
"You're born into this world as a blank canvas. As you meet people and experience things, you're getting stained and torn up."
'This World...' busts at the seams with chaotic dissonant guitar tones and time signatures reminiscent of early-mid 2000s mathcore/metalcore, reminding you works of the earlier mentioned Botch and Dillinger but also a plethora of other artists from that era such as Converge, Bless The Martyr era Norma Jean, The Chariot, From A Second Story Window, and Fear Before The March of Flames - to name a few. However, Vein has carved their own modernized sound and path, revitalizing and putting a defibrillator to the hardcore scene.
To start the record, you're unapologetically greeted by the band with the no-frills, lets "cut to the chase" introduction "Welcome Home". It's 1:17 of heavily distorted build up then breakdowns driven by Jeremy Martin's guitar and Jon Lhaubouet's bass, Matt Wood's punishing drums, Benno Levine's chaotic noise through sampling/turntables, and Anthony DiDio's bellowing screams "Lay back like a patient / Let your conscience (Let me go) / Fuck the pavement." You realize immediately you've left the Errorzone universe.
Half of the record is laced with tracks anywhere from 55 seconds to two and a half minutes, not giving you time to grasp for air, a staple from their predecessor. Songs like "The Killing Womb", "Lights Out", and "Hellnight" pick up where Vein previously left off and waste no time pushing your face deep into time-blistering riffs, breakdowns, and keeping you there. The key difference in 'This World...' are the moments you are allowed to get air vs the non-stop ride of 'Errorzone'. Don't be fooled though. These moments are dark, uncomfortable, and it makes 'This World...' even more dynamic, angrier, and sadder than you thought it could ever be.
More dimensions are created on 'This World...' "Fear in Non Fiction" features legendary Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly, making it almost feel like the heaviest Thursday song ever created. "Orgy in the Morgue" features up & coming rapper BONES, with more aggressive vocals than his familiar rap style. The drums and effects on "Magazine Beach" open with a 90s drum and bass influence mixed with feelings of Fear Before The March of Flames 'Odd How People Shake' and 'Art Damage'. Vein.fm has really shown how their sound can fit in different spaces (or universes).
"Wavery" is one of the stand out moments that stays with you. The song takes you on a steady, methodical journey driven by Wood's drums, Martin's guitars, and Anthony replacing his scorching scream with singing for the first 1:45 into the song, giving you Deftones vibes drenched in the Black Mirror universe. This build up leads to one of the heaviest moments on the record 2:25 in, making you self assess if you're ready to handle for what's to come in the mosh pit or not.
The most haunting, paralyzing moment on the record is "Funeral Sound". The longest track on the record at 7:16, features only piano dissonance and Anthony's soft spoken voice for 2:48, a deep and dark contrast from the rest of the record. It puts you in an uneasy state until its most chilling moment, the sampling of a woman's voice. This sample creates only more questions to the meaning of the record and adds to the allure & mystery that is Vein.fm. The back half of the song releases to Anthony singing "This world is going to ruin you", while the band drives the most melodically driven moment on the record to phase out and end your stay in Vein.fm's home.
Vein.fm did it again. 'This World is Going to Ruin You' is in a "world" of its own as a follow up to 'Errorzone'. Three months into the year, it will already be considered as one of the best hardcore/metal releases of 2022 due it's ability to highlight the greatest technical aspects of Vein.fm's sound, yet add even darker, melodic, and heavier layers that encapsulate feelings felt over the last two years. Vein.fm is truly home and they aren't going anywhere, any time soon.