Hail the Villain – Population: Declining7.5/10
Hail The Villain is a Hard Rock/ Nu Metal band from Osawa, Ontario. Formed in 2003 under the name Farenheit, the band played shows and grew a large local following before signing a deal with Roadrunner Records in spring of 2009 and changing their name to "Hail The villain". They released their first album “Population: Declining” on June 28th, 2010.
Hail The Villain has a distinct sound to them. Whilst not the most original band in the world, when you hear a HTV riff kick In, You know it’s them. Loud, fast, guitar driven songs are all you’ll find on this album. There is not a ballad contained within the 12 tracks of the album. From the opening riff of lead single and first track “Take Back the Fear” you know what you’re getting into. It’s dirty, powerful, and unrelenting. The band manages to keep their own sound, without copying themselves or sounding similar on any two songs.
If you’re listening to Hail The Villain for complex rhythms, melodies or song structures then you would be advised to put this down and pick up the latest Dream theatre album. The music on this album is fast, gritty and abrasive. Sure you might find some shelter from the fastness within songs such as “Evil Has A Name” and “Swan Dive Suicide”. But ballads these are not. Groovy verses and catchy choruses are the blue print for nearly all of the songs present, but it never gets tiring or stale. Clearly borrowing from the likes of System of a Down and Papa Roach the music on the album does its job and is the perfect match for the vocals of lead singer Bryan Crouch.
Oh the vocals. Anybody that has heard the music of Hail The Villain knows that they have a very distinct lead singer. Bryan Crouch possesses one of the best voices in recent years to play heavy music. But the thing is, he really only should sing hard rock kind of music. The man does not have a future as a wedding singer or fronting a Maroon 5 cover band to say the least. His voice is gruff, it kind of reminds me of a “Phil Anselmo lite” if you will. His Roars, moans and screaches do however suit these songs incredibly well and in every song on the album benefits from his performance and presence. His best performances are on “Take Back the Fear”, “16 Cradles”, “ Swan dive Suicide”, “Mission Control” and “Try Hating the World”.
The lyrics on this album don’t really stand out to me. They aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they aren’t exactly good either. The lyrics to “Take Back the Fear”, “Swan Dive Suicide” and the verses of “runaway” are pretty good. But the chorus of “Runaway” for example gives off the impression that it was written to be played live and to have fan interaction. Which is just a pet peeve of mine. But all in all, there are nothing really wrong with the lyrics on the album, no corniness and all honesty.
The production of the album is supurb. Darryl Romphf did an awesome job and got great performances out of all the members. The programming on tracks like “Runaway” was very good and added to the song greatly. There really isn’t much to say about the production other then it was well done. Any bands looking for a producer should consider contacting Darryl.
Stand out tracks: “16 Cradles”, ‘My Reward”, “Runaway”, “ Take Back the Fear”.
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