Madvice are a 4 piece from Italy who have been described as a thrash-melodeath hybrid kind of band. With this in mind, you would expect some cutting riffs, surging paced sections and some massive sounding moments. Whilst these do appear across the release, it feels more akin to early 2000’s groove metal, the sound which would eventually explode into metalcore and it’s various offshoots. For clarification, think of the first 3 Devildriver albums and you get the idea. “Everything Comes To An End” is Madvice’s debut release and without further delays, let’s get on to this oncoming conclusion.
The first major thing about the album is the sound. As stated above, it sounds a lot like the early Devildriver albums; vocally raw, downtuned guitars, fast paced and loaded with riffs and melodic lead sections (harmonies, melody lines and solos). This may appeal to some, this may deter some, groove orientated metalcore with plenty of side influences is a volatile mix and it doesn’t always turn out right when you add the spark to it. Sometimes it can be an explosive mess which has too much going on, other times it can be overly ambitious with its composition and just fall short on several fronts and of course, you have the successful attempt where it all clicks. In the case of Madvice, this album is the second – it is put together well, but it can’t quite manage to go the distance.
The opening salvo of “Vengence” and the titular track are definitely heavy. The thunderous low-end focused riffs really dominate the tracks but their delivery is a bit lacking – an awkward semi-harmonic laced riff sequence presents itself in a heavy sense, but it sounds out of place and rather awkward. The pedal tone riffing is spot on when it shows up in the tracks and the vocals have a very commanding presence and aggressive edge to them, but the sound which leans towards the ‘Low-B’ friendly approach of Nu-Metal and start of the millennium groove metal just doesn’t sit right.
“A Day To Fight, A Day To Suffer” continues in the same vein. This time it has a more angular and hammering feel to the delivery. With plenty of dissonant chord stabs and an overall angsty air, there are some subtle signs that there is more to this track than what you initially hear but these more sophisticated progressions are lost between the layers of a sterile sounding wall of guitars. “The Gate” mixes it up, shooting out the blocks with blistering pace and relentless drums driving it on. Buzzing guitars, angry vocal snarls and a formidable bassline help round the track out whilst the female vocal lines are unexpected, creating an interesting foil for the musical delivery in the choruses. It stands out well and proves to be a highlight of the release.
“Nothingness” and “Master Of Doom” are both unremarkable in all senses; generic melo-death inspired metalcore with some interesting arrangements and sequences. “Nothingness” sounds a lot like In Flames did back in the ‘Soundtrack To Your Escape!’ days (2004) and like Soilwork do now – generic, bland and uninspiring. “Master Of Doom” is just mediocre groove laden metalcore with a terrible name which sounds like something straight out of a Marvel comic. This slice of blandness however is nothing compared to the follow-up; a cover of iconic 80’s song “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, originally by Tears For Fears. Usually a cover song would sit towards the back of the album as a bonus track, not right in the middle of it. There are notable exceptions, but these usually fit the sound and progression of the album well… In this case, with all the angsty and edgy aggressiveness in the sound, it might fit contextually, but the cover itself just shouldn’t exist. It’s terrible, like actually terrible. The band might have reimagined it and delivered it in their style, something any cover song should be delivered like, but there is recreating a track to make it work in your own style and there is butchering it. Sure, there’s the iconic arpeggio intro, a trem-picked passage which mirrors the synth progression in the chorus and a breakdown where the lead section is so you can tell where in the track you actually are, but the delivery of the track… Yeah, it has a lot of room for improvement!
“Rebirth” and “Hopeless” round the album off and they attempt to salvage what the previous run of tracks have inflicted, but much like the title of the closing track, the attempt is hopeless. It’s just more of the same melodic progression inspired early 2000’s metalcore. With only one real standout track, Madvice seem to have fallen significantly short whilst attempting to deliver this album which, maybe fifteen years ago, would have been a huge success.
Wrong place, wrong time? Over ambitious and not as coherent as initially hoped? “Everything Comes To An End” seems to be at the short end of the stick in terms of being a release which can hold its own or stand out in a positive light.