“By Way Of The Snake”
June 11, 2013 - Century Media
Blunt-force trauma is the only language spoken in Into The Flood’s world. With the exception of the brief instrumental title track, which kicks the record off, everything on Vices is purpose-built to hurt. With an emphasis on the kind of armor-plated pneumatic chuggery that Bury Your Dead made their stock in trade, blended with more frantic and darkly atmospheric elements, the Seattle mob know how to wreak maximum mosh pit volatility. While some may throw the deathcore tag in their direction, Vices is far more ‘core than Cannibal Corpse, and their Christian-inspired positive lyrics, which champion self-empowerment and open mindedness, ring true regardless of faith.
Had this been a 10-track collection rather than 13, it would score a half-star more, for the inclusion of a few of by-the-numbers tracks detract from its overall impact. “Sacrificing The Worm” and “21:4” in particular pass without making too much of an impression, but there is plenty to pick up the slack. “David Scheinost” is a storm of targeted aggression that is as burly as it is hard edged, while “Disconnected” throws an unpredictable, twisted melody behind the bludgeon and in doing so is even more potent. Better still is “Your Judgment Is What Condemns You,” the most brutal track on Vices, shifting from lurching horror to rampant violence to ensure absolute devastation. Besting all is closer “By Way Of The Snake,” which finds the band taking the most potent elements of every preceding track and ramming them into four minutes and three seconds, rounding things out with a vengeance.
With so many bands united under what could be referred to as the "judder-chug" banner of late it is refreshing to see a unit embracing that dynamic and doing something that stands out from the crowd. Yes, it’s not original as such, but it has a strength and personality of its own, and it would be a shame if Into the Flood are sidelined as solely a Christian band, rather than embraced by wider audiences. Regardless, this is a fine record from a band who show a lot of potential, and they’re not going to make it easy for anyone trying to ignore them.