March 28, 2014 Righteous Vendetta – The Fire Inside (Album review)
Righteous Vendetta began back in 2008 at a community college in their home state of Wyoming. The band’s dedication to create passionate heavy music was felt through the band’s first two full-length albums, The Dawning (2010) and Lawless (2011). In the midst of their quest to tell the world of their music, a revelation occurred taking the band from a hardcore style to the realm of melodic hard rock/alternative metal. Delivering the same contagious heavy sound that they did when they first started, the band has spread their wings to reach new heights with a more refined and accessible sound. Comprised of Ryan Hayes (vocals), Justin Olmstead (guitar), Carl Heiman (guitar), Zach Goggins (Drums), and Riley Haynie (bass), these hard working musicians look to make their biggest statement yet with their newest album The Fire Inside.
The Fire Inside was recorded at JTW Studios in Milwaukee, WI and produced by Joel Wanasek. The fourteen track album is full of addictive hooks, powerful leads, and strong vocals by Hayes. Having been more a screamer than singer in past releases it is impressive to see him challenge his vocal ability and successfully delivery emotion-drenched sincere singing. This can be heard throughout the album leading with the opening “Defiance” where Hayes goes from a gruff tone to powerful adrenaline rush of a chorus. Goggins drumming stands out immediately through this track. This leads directly into the band’s current single heard on Sirus XM Octane regularly “This Pain”. Taking on a Chevelle-like mood, the track packs a punch and it’s no wonder it’s has been consistently requested on Octane now for months. “What You’ve Done” with melodic riffs and thick guitar tones shows an electrifying side of the band.
This leads us into perhaps one of the most complete tracks on the album entitled “With Love”. Starting off somber and dark the song immediately lifts off into a uplifting blood pumping chorus. Lyrically provoking the listener to reflect on life, the world around them, and the real impact one can have on matters. This track is the blueprint for Righteous Vendetta and their future. Next the title track “The Fire Inside” has a crunchy metal guitar sound which Olmstead and Heiman mesh perfectly together. Tracks like “Inside My Eyes” continue to capture a vivid mix of words and sound that you won’t be able to get out of your head. When you hear “Fight Back” you will immediately hear distinct influence from Gothenburg‘s?? Sweden’s In Flames in the guitar work. This style works well with the anthemic chorus that is bound to have live audiences in a frenzy when heard.
The energy of Fire Inside is relentless and it’s never more evident than with balance and consistent. That is felt directly through songs like “Far Away”, “Back to Life, and “Losing Control” which have another addictive chorus lines matched by attention keeping musical composition. Hayes vocals remain smooth yet aggressive, flowing organically through each song. There is no doubt that there was strong attention placed on the vocal hooks which not only work extremely well but bring the lyrics to life.
What you can expect to hear with their latest full length which was recorded at JTW Studios in my hometown of Milwaukee Wisconsin with producer Joel Wanasek is fourteen tracks of addictive hooks, power leads, strong vocals with songs like “This Pain” which is catchy and will have you singing and air drumming in no time. Then there is “The Fire Inside” that has that crunchy metal guitar sound and make sure you listen to “Defiance”, the opening drum rolls and insane make you notice the talent of drummer Zack Goggins. It is also a catchy, power-metal anthem much like most of the album.
The closing tracks of “For Skeptic”, “John the Revalator” and “Reason” Righteous Vendetta conclude the album with some of the most aggressive metalcore tinging songs on the album. Make no mistake about it these tracks contain plenty of powerful singing by Hates matching his deep bellows.
The Fire Inside is an album that not one song will disappoint the listener. While this album is nearly flawless it will be exciting to see the band continue to challenge themselves in the vain of this style with their next release. If you are looking for aggressive metalcore or emotional alternative metal the album has it all equally balanced and carefully placed. This band has toured tireless all over North America playing more than one thousand shows and counting. Their dedication to the music and ability to broaden their sound comes together on The Fire Inside. CrypticRock give this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Purchase a copy of The Fire Inside on iTunes here