VEHEMENT SERENADE: The Things That Tear You Apart: CD

The world needs another Karl Buechner-fronted (Earth Crisis, Path Of Resistance) hardcore band like I need a kick to the head, which is what I would’ve likely gotten for writing such a thing if this was the early-to-mid 1990s. Multiple listens to Vehement Serenade, however, harkens me back to E-Town Concrete, a rapcore group from New Jersey that was around in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Not because the two groups sound anything alike (although I would pay money to hear Buechner rap), but in the similar response they both gave me. At first, I thought E-Town Concrete were silly, but upon repeated listens I heard grooves and some catchiness in their rap-rock stylings. But then after a while I realized, “No, this is dumb.” While Vehement Serenade may not be rap-rock, they are deceptive in that same way. Is this silly? Yes. Wait, it’s got some good grooves and decent riffs. No, wait, it’s dumb. Why? Because there are too many bands playing this same thing. While it’s nice to hear a bit of divergence (is that an attempt at singing I hear?), this just seems too similar to a million other metal-core bands I’ve heard before, even if Buechner is behind the mic.

 –kurt (Fast Break, fastbreakent.com)