Attack! Vipers! - Deadweight Revival (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Attack! Vipers!

Deadweight Revival (2012)

Specialist Subject Records

Attack! Vipers! really confused me when I first listened to this, their second album. It was almost as if they couldn't decide what they wanted to do as a band, and therefore used a number of styles to produce a dozen songs that seemed a bit all over the place. However, on repeated listens this feeling dissipated and I began to get the band and the album. With influences including punk, hardcore and a bit of metal, as well as a significantly mellow feel at times, this release ended up reminding me more of Envy than any other band. But, Attack! Vipers! seem to contain a bit more brutality in their sound than that Japanese band does. The one other, and more diverse, band I heard at times when listening to this album was Rocket From The Crypt. I would hasten to add that these are odd bits here and there but I certainly found myself thinking in that direction on occasions.

Kicking off proceedings in a sprightly mood is "Reverse Heart Attack," and the whole feel of this track is that it's as punishing to listen to as it is to perform. Throughout the album I am constantly amazed at how frequently Joe Watson seems to be potentially pushing his vocal cords to the limit, so much so that I wonder how he would manage with a whole gig under these conditions. He really must take some serious care of his voice.

As noted above, Attack! Vipers! exhibit variety not just across songs but within them as well and although this could result in a car crash of styles, that isn't the case here. The other thing the band are not averse to doing is throwing in some beautiful instrumental parts to songs, much like Envy do so successfully and it's something that has to be done right to work and hats off to these inhabitants of Southsea, U.K., that they manage to do this effectively. For a prime example of this, look no further than the "You Were Hope," which slowly builds to a crescendo and leads immediately into "You Were Horror," which is a much more straightforward shredder of a song.

The success of Deadweight Revival is due to Attack! Vipers! being able to bring together a number of styles into a structured, varied and hugely powerful body of work which is atmospheric and broody as well as downright intense at times. It might take a few listens to actually find yourself in a place where you appreciate this album fully, but do not give up. It's a mighty piece of work and it's certainly grown on me immensely since I first played it. Some are already acclaiming this to be the hardcore album of the year and whilst that is quite a claim being that it is only February, Deadweight Revival certainly does have something special about it and is laying down a line in the sand for others to dare to cross.

This is quite a big departure for Specialist Subject Records and it's an album that pushes them into a new arena in terms of the bands they deal with. It's a good move if this is the sort of stuff they add to their repertoire.