~reviewed by Mick Mercer

I know next to little of an infinitesimal percentage of nothing about Rock and its many modern forms so this record came as a bewildering shock to me. Seven tracks, by serious looking men, this threw me this way and that in confusion over why bands do what they do, as much as puzzling over the content.

The only thing I picked up on as they threshed ‘Sounds Of Relativity’ was Death Metal and the regurgitated vocal style which be comes a gargle at 100mph, which is not something that has ever struck me as appealing, but instead of short, dampened thudding noise in accompaniment what Vortex do is quite enthralling in its own way. They have such a wild, exuberant sense of noise, with unusual sonic drum effects, and the bass and drums are cunning, on into ‘Dead Realm Of Renewal’ with quite lovely guitar touches, almost directly at odds with the vocal horror, and when they clank it is like early 80’s Industrial, before ending in pretty swirls. You could almost say there are a dozen or so music scenes being melted down in this one form.

The sounds at the back of ‘Instinct’ are positively sci-fi, yet the riffing is so old and blunt it’s practically feudal and the rhythm munches and marches along. ‘The Arrival’ is just a instrumental piece of crap, and then ‘Starborn Elite’ goes for the deeply veined drum thrombosis, which could take you into dark areas only for them to have supremely attractive phases, where the guitar sounds like a piano before turning back to a hacking riff bombast over drums like helicopters. ‘Psychosis’ is a convincingly alien instrumental short, and then ‘Parable sees them off, and if you were wondering about lyrics, they go, ‘The Moral is senseless. Is this the darkness you’re looking for? The reign of ignorant bastards. Honour and virtue went out of fashion.’

There’s more vocal trauma, flickering toxic guitar, sledgehammer drums but weird touches visible throughout and I honestly can’t imagine how a band in their murky rock scene could possibly do more in displaying variety, but I’m  also left wondering just how brilliant them might be if they could take the gleaming edge of their adventurous experimentation and combine it with a seamless sound where they truly excite. The drawback to all their changes song by song is that they never sustain any musical passage for longer than a minute before wandering off down a different track altogether.

So there.


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