Ah yes, metalcore. I always had a love-hate relationship with metalcore… well, more like ‘loved-for-ten-seconds-and-then-grew-up’ relationship. Metalcore is the world of breakdowns and righteous lyrics about going into battle with all your honour and your heart painfully on your sleeve. It’s like emo had an anger management problem, but also didn’t live past the ripe age of thirteen. We have another offering to the metal realm by Vela with Cult of the Mountain, and it doesn’t seem to challenge my current elitist attitude. Hate me if you want, crucify me if you like that better, but I will likely continue to harbour these feelings towards the genre and any band who comes forth with material that literally sounds the same as the last band.
Here, we have some small luck, but it’s hidden beneath all the bells and whistles of what Vela might think people want to hear, and what is believed to make a crowd lose their minds over how ‘hardcore’ the live performance was. With ten tracks of quite monotone sound, we’re looking at a record that has clearly tried to follow a certain formula to fit the template of what metalcore should be. That alone makes me murderous and beyond furious since working for quite some time in a field where it is imperative to touch individual souls and bring out unique personalities in order to grow in every direction possible. Using a formula and what we think a song from a certain genre is supposed to sound like makes everything boring. This is like stealing the colour from life and completely removing the core reason for music’s existence.
Speaking in terms of recording quality, instrumental performance, and even album art, this is a well put together album, with the entire substance of what should be found inside, totally missing. Certain areas bring moments of uniqueness and exciting passages like with “Necromantic,” and “Terminus” where it is easy to notice the deviation from the norm of the album’s whole. Unfortunately for us, this doesn’t seem to be the main focus here, and that, is respectable enough if some purpose is being served. Sadly, the opposite is always disappointing and quite frankly, something I believe to be the antithesis of why we make music at all.
Written by Talia Plante
*edited by Danielle Kenedy