Virus – The Black Flux

Posted in Album, New, Reviews on September 1st, 2009 by Alex

Norway’s Virus are described on their Wikipedia entry as “avant-garde jazz rock”, a lofty description, and I will say this, they don’t sound much like the British thrash band of the same name.

On the surface, Virus’ guitars sound like Mastodon’s: heavy but not overly distorted, doom laden, frequent use of resonating open strings, obscure scales, but here comparisons end. Virus tread a more gothic path, and tend towards slower tempos and more subtle song structures. Virus are progressive in the true sense of the term rather than the generic.

The Joy Division/Interpol inflected vocals cut through any metallic tendencies, giving the music an alternative feel. The melodies and musical structure are where they really shine though. Wilfully obscure, this is definitely rock music, and you can hear the jazz influence, but these intricate musical threads weave a much more complex and indistinct tapestry than many of their peers. So dense are these tracks that it’s easy to get lost in them, and sometimes hard to find your way out again – this combined with a sustained oppressive tone sometimes makes it a uncomfortable listen.

It’s difficult to know where Virus fits in the grand music scheme, but their place at the bleeding edge of heavy music is assured.

Listen to Virus on Myspace

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