Ion Vein - Ion Vein
Mortal Music
Heavy Metal
12 songs (50' 49")
Release year: 2014
Ion Vein
Reviewed by Andy

With the release of their self-titled album, Ion Vein has apparently completed their project of an album originally released in digital installments, as described by my colleague Alex in his review of IV v1.0. There was a 2.0, too, which we didn't get around to reviewing, but we need wait for a 3.0 no longer; at this point the band has finally gotten the whole collection together -- with both the EPs and the final installments on this one.

Long ago, Ion Vein was much more on the prog side of things than now, especially with their previous vocalist being, by all accounts, a dead ringer for Geoff Tate in terms of singing voice. Those days are long gone; instead, vocalist Scott Featherstone's gravelly delivery now matches Chris Lotesto's equally tough-sounding riffs. These blunt hulks dominate the songs for the most part, though occasionally there is still a very slight hint of progginess. But when a short solo does break out, it has a venomous accuracy to it; I especially liked the one on Seamless. I have to agree with Alex on the excellent riffs on Enough and Anger Inside -- they haven't lost any of their strength -- but with the addition of the 2.0 songs, we also have standouts like This Is Me, a plodding marching song still filled with that brutal riffing, with a very Ronnie James Dio-like vibe to it.

While every song on the album is pretty crushing, Alone starts and ends with softer, acoustic-sounding guitar and a slightly cleaner vocal delivery. That's all the break the listener gets, though, because not only is the majority of the song still filled with similarly harsh riffing to the rest of the album, but right after that come chugging behemoths like In the End. Both this one and Alone have Featherstone sounding simultaneously sorrowful and slightly pissed off, almost like a much harder-voiced version of Evergrey's Tom Englund. The final song, Twist of Fate, goes all-out as a finale, and is filled with palm-muting that is even faster and rougher than the rest of the album, as well as a chorus that is more melodic than the others.

The no-frills and riff-dominated nature of the heavy metal contained on Ion Vein, still spiked with a minor dose of prog from their old days, is more than enough to get it my thumbs-up, and fans of early Nevermore will probably find this to be right up their alley. I best liked the tracks from IV v1.0, but the newer ones are consistently excellent as well, showing that their installment-release strategy appears to have paid off.

Killing Songs :
Seamless, Enough, Anger Inside, Twist of Fate
Andy quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Ion Vein that we have reviewed:
Ion Vein - IV v1.0 reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Ion Vein - Reigning Memories reviewed by Ken and quoted 90 / 100
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