Vortech: Devoid of Life

These guys, at the time of the writing of this review, have one of the goofiest Facebook header images ever.  So goofy and poorly shooped it looks like a fan page you hope no one notices.  Unfortunately, first impressions are usually 95% of the time correct, and it makes us open with phrases that lead the reader to assume “forget this one.”  This is part of that other 5%.  Vortech are from Finland and play industrial metal, as they state, though perhaps ‘industrial black metal’ would be a bit closer.  But hey, who are we to define a band’s sound for them?  We’ll just suggest it.  Not having the front insert with the submission at first (kindly submitted later), it was even more difficult to judge, and further confused by the listing of nine tracks on the insert when, in fact, there are really seventeen.  With a variety of images that suggest factories and mathematics, Vortech’s Devoid of Life screams “deathcore of life”.  That’s what it looks like, straight up, some sort of nudeathcorecrapmetal that makes you puke up everything you’ve eaten over the past month.  Vortech, however, are much more awesome than that, capturing a truly evil, technological sound that balances electronics with organic integration.  Most bands, well, they’re lucky if they can find the power button on their Casio purchased at Radio Shack.  Whoever is running the “industrial” part of Vortech, though, knows what they’re doing.  But let’s delve further, because that’s just a small aspect of Devoid of Life.



Devoid of Life is crushing.  It tears.  It rips.  It mutilates, even like a grinding machine at a factory.  You’re not sure why it’s there, what it does, and then your cuff gets caught and you’re turned into potted meat the likes of which would make The Jungle seem like a candy shop.  You don’t find “crushing” too much when it comes to industrial metal, unless it’s via the foaming mouth of a fanboy whose objectivity went bye-bye when Millennium was released.  The reason is rather simple, and it’s that simplicity is a disease that most of these bands were infected with at birth.  Simplicity, sometimes, can be key to great music.  But industrial, or EBM for genre snubbers, is simple in the nature it works, which requires little creativity on the part of musicians.  Most high-end, or even mid-range keyboards sound like complex programming masterpieces when you hold a single key.  There’s no skill to that kind of playing if you have a finger and live somewhere with gravity.  The real trick is doing it artfully, and frankly most cannot, never could, and never will.  Just lifting one’s finger isn’t the essence of it, it’s barely the foundation.  And that’s the issue, buy a few keyboards and make a band?  No.  So what makes Vortech above this is they have that sort of high-end electronic sound, but found a way to combine it with complex, insane metal riffs and drumming.  Most bands of this type either put the keyboards right up front to make you cringe, or in the back so you can barely hear it, where it sounds like something substantial until the thin layers strip away, revealing a chord progression that would make Andrew Lloyd Weber seem like Debussy.  Vortech, however, tear it.


Devoid of Life is filled with blistering lines and some primally, evil screaming that hits low ends with a certain amount of skill that’s probably an effect of being born with the proper throat.  But that’s only one facet of the goodies.  “Demon in the Circuitry,” for example, shows exactly what we mean, no intro, no sample that goes the length of Mortician.  It roars straight over you, backs up, and does it again, and again, and again, and you’re left a puddle of flesh fragments, at best.  The fact that they were able to so successfully combine extremely fast passages with such strange technological storms is proof of enough skill to elevate typical industrial, metal or not, from the deep pits of creepers, slaine trousers, and platform shoes, the latter which are stared at by many a lonely eye.  The way technology revolves around the riffs, extreme drumming, and the harsh throat is what makes Vortech so top-notch in comparison to the usual industrial “metal” band.  Really the only other successful band like this, or perhaps the only until Vortech gets some more recognition, would be Aborym.  This is the kind of industrial you’re proud to blast, and which you look forward to seeing released again, and again, and again, and you’re left a fan of a band who deserves it.  Great stuff, some real next-level riffs here to sample, basically take any track out of the above and get ready.  Sometimes it can sound a little similar, until you listen through again, and it has a bit more of that “self-released” feel than we’d like, but either way give it a look.


Vortech Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Vortech: Devoid of Life
4.5 / 5