A couple of my esteemed metal colleagues have told me about a local band that, in their opinions, are worth breaking your neck to. So, in my never ending pursuit of all that is metal, I gave them a listen.
EchoVirus are a Brighton, England, based band who sit on the thrash/death border. Their MySpace page is well designed, which is always a bonus, and there's a couple of sample songs on there (although I'd avoid the somewhat bizarre "megamix" third track).
The first track, "New Gods", comes straight from the Lamb Of God school of "fuck the build up, have this". There's no doubt that it's an intense introduction and I was pleasantly surprised by their vocalist (known simply as "Dan"). With the half-beat snare and double axe attack intro, I was anticipating a Glen Benton-esque death growl but was instead greeted by a mid-range snarl that fitted perfectly to the music. There's no doubt Children Of Bodom are a massive influence on these guys and Dan does a great Alexi Laiho. There's also strong similarities with Arch Enemy and Michael Amott seems to be the benchmark for both EchoVirus axemen (Dan's voice ain't quite Angela Gossow but then, who's is??)
Song two, "Once The Hero", has a fantastic guitar harmony and is pure cut and paste fucking thrash. With the exception of the vocals, this tune is very "Ascendancy"-era Trivium (oh, don't start that "but they're so shit" nonsense because they simply fucking aren't). The song then leaps into a circle pit inducing pace, then they slow it up, then straight back in. Horns will be thrown and cheek bones will be broken to this song. My one criticism of this tune is that the guitar solo doesn't really fit in, although this is more than likely just a production issue.
In my humble yet ridiculously important opinion, EchoVirus are shit hot. Okay, there's nothing ground-breakingly unique about the music but this is metal - we like it rough and we like it loud, and this is exactly what's delivered.
I'm looking forward to taking in a live 'Virus experience in the not too distant future. Watch this space and the band's MySpace page (I've put the link in on my "Cool Shit" list) for further details...
Oh, and I've nearly got the Download videos updated, which includes a frankly epic six-minute Journey affair that will bring a tear to your eye. Unless you're a total helmet.