CD Review: Villain of the Story – “Wrapped In Vines, Covered In Thorns” (Stay Sick Recordings)

While Wrapped In Vines, Covered In Thorns gets off to a somewhat tempered start with “GHC,” and although it does a nice job laying out the particulars of the album to come, the training wheels come off on the blistering “Dragon Sickness,” as Villain of the Story pair towering hooks with scorching vocals and punishing breakdowns, a combination that quickly becomes the albums calling card (“A Message for Mr. Rascal,” “Promise Me,” The One Reborn,” “Wrapped in Vines, Covered in Thorns”). “Never Coming Back” is a needed change-of-pace from its metalcore surroundings (though Villain of the Story manages to sneak in a crushing deluge for good measure – you’re listening to a metal record by the way), before soaring shit-starter “This Apocalypse” drops you right back in the pit. Saving (almost) the best for last, Villain of the Story delivers one of the album’s best moments on the near-perfect closer “Grow,” a truly memorable and infectious parting shot. Perhaps the best part of Wrapped In Vines, Covered In Thorns is its willingness to take chances, and when the band steps outside their comfort zone, it’s a successful venture more often than not. Wrapped In Vines, Covered In Thorns doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but it’s better than most.

Grade: B

Go Download: “Promise Me”