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Review: In Virtue - Delusions of Grandeur
In Virtue
Delusions of Grandeur

Label: Independent
Year released: 2009
Duration: 42:48
Tracks: 8
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 2/5

Review online: March 9, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Delusions of Grandeur

Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (4 Votes)

Delusions of Grandeur is the debut CD from self-proclaimed Power Metal band In Virtue. I say "self-proclaimed" because I hear quite a few Progressive elements, along with several others, to go along with Power Metal. Since the band's bio states they met at university in 2004, it's probably safe to assume they are still pretty young and it shows on Delusions of Grandeur.

Lead by vocalist Corinne Reif, who has a degree in vocal performance, and guitarist/vocalist Trey Xavier, the members of In Virtue appear to all be accomplished musicians. Unfortunately, their songwriting skills are not nearly on the same level. Delusions of Grandeur opens with "Paralyzed (Radio Edit)." Radio edit? Seriously? What is the point of a radio edit? No terrestrial radio station on Earth is playing this kind of music and anyone else can play the full-length track. Baffling. Anyway, "Paralyzed" opens with a decent riff, but the spell is quickly broken by Reif's vocals. As I said, she has a degree in voice, which implies a certain level of talent, but the problem is she doesn't sing METAL. She sounds like she's singing for her senior recital. Her voice doesn't really fit the music. And while the song may start out with a Power Metal riff, it is rife with breakdowns in different styles, mostly Progressive, and it's a candidate for the skip button (twice, if you count the radio edit). "Fatal Eclipse" is better, with Maiden-like riffing and angelic choruses. Reif has dialed back the vocal projection as well. "Dreamwalker" is the catchiest song on Delusions of Grandeur, kind of like Andromeda Unchained from Anubis Gate. The next couple of tracks are unremarkable "beauty and the beast" vocal exercises and then the band launches into some blast beats for "Masochism & the Pursuit of Perfection," a title straight from King Crimson or maybe Budgie. In Virtue are stylistically all over the place up until this point, but the coup de grace, by far, is the last track, "Underture" an exercise in "how many musical styles can we cram into one song using our opening track as the theme?" Let me try to sum up what I heard: the song starts with aforementioned King Crimson then a boogie-woogie shuffle, a techno beat, a carillon (bells), middle eastern rhythms, a dance beat, 70s prog like Starcastle or Yes, Jethro Tull renaissance flutes and ends with kazoos. Did you get all that?

In Virtue are undoubtedly talented but they have no identity. They don't know who or what they want to be. The result is Delusions of Grandeur being so disordered it's nearly unlistenable. There are some good ideas, but they are few and far between. The band is going to need to tighten up their songwriting if they want to make a name for themselves.

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