V:28 - NonAnthropogenic ©2003 Vendlus
1. Consumed By Schizophrenia
2. Dead Shining Star
3. The Human Element
4. To Be Tuned
5. Perspective
6. Everything But Life
7. Soldier Of The Neverending War
8. Purity
9. The Fall Of Science
10. Zero Nothing

V:28 is obviously made up of the "cool" kids of their scene since they were somehow able to convince Enslaved's Grutle Kjellson to contribute some backing and even lead vocals on their first full length album, NonAnthropogenic. That sort of pull will certainly thrill the cheerleaders on the sidelines. But aside from that particular guest star appeal (whose contributions aren't exactly wildly dissimilar from their own vocal approach), V:28's luminance is going to be determined solely by their recorded effort, which falls into the area of "good, but could definitely be better".

NonAnthropogenic is a the result of a two man band, both of whom assume multiple duties for recording. Their style is a mixture of black metal and a bit of the rolling, plundering death metal of the likes of Bolt Thrower. In fact, the fluid, meandering riffing reminds me very much of later Bolt Thrower. The band utilizes a drum machine for rhythm, which somewhat provides a cold mechanical feel (whether by intention or not is the question). Keyboards are used as punctuation marks and an extra coloring tool, but do not overpower the music. The CD is consistent from beginning to end, which can also be read as a lack of variety in songwriting approaches. It is a good thing that V:28's core sound isn't all that bad, but by the end of the CD one wishes that they displayed more variety in their songs. Everything segues together quite seamlessly, but many listeners may feel it blends too much to allow distinction.

Despite some of the drawbacks, NonAnthropogenic is a fairly enjoyable album that, at the very least, sets the stage for more interesting future releases from V:28. The band displays plenty of potential and a solid foundation. Let's hope that they expand upon it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2004

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