Release Date: October 27, 2023 Genre: Post-Hardcore, Metalcore Label: Arising Empire Records
Of Virtue, a post-hardcore/alternative metalcore band based out of Michigan will release their much-anticipated fourth studio record, Omen, under Arising Empire Records this week. After a solid release of singles leading up to the band's album release, new fans and old fans are eager about the release and the sound from the band. After four years since the release of the last record, What Defines You (2019), Of Virtue is starting to get more traction recently, as they just announced a tour next year with Any Given Day, playing a festival with Parkway Drive in the Philippines, and more. What I can say for this record is that it’s a step in the right direction and hope that it gets even more traction for the band.
The album starts off with the album title track “Omen.” It goes off on intense build-up with guitars with some distorted vocal effects from Tyler -the band's heavy vocalist- then into Damon -the Clean vocalist. It goes back and forth between the two in the song and feels like in a sense an arena kind of vibe for a song with some higher choir vocals near the end of the song. Overall, it's a great opening track. “Hypocrite” is a harder track as it kind of entails. Throughout the song, it has very catchy lyrics with the chorus that will play a big part in the rest of the record, I have noticed. With some clean, harder vocals from Tyler throughout the song, it's a good “gym track.” I feel people will for sure be playing this song that will help with them. “Cold Blooded” is a more cleaner track and more feeling like a catchy rock or metal song that you hear from upcoming bands with similar fans to Of Virtue -to say bands like Catch Your Breath, Villain Of The Story, and Rain City Drive to name a few. Great song that you can jam in your car.
One of my favourite singles that the band has dropped from this release has to be “Cut Me Open.” The track gives off a kind of an eerie Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast kind of story, but as you can hear from the song's lyrics, it's not as you seem. It has a harder breakdown part with wicked screams from Tyler near the end. That is exactly what I love about breakdowns. Probably my favourite lyrics in the song has to be when they sing, “You’re heartless, and broken / Bleed me dry, you fed me.” I love the delivery of it, it is what really gets me with the song. As well as hearing them play the song live recently, it's definitely a favourite.
“Sober” is about a song not being sober, as it entitles. It is a much more emotional song when you see the band perform the track in the music video as it has a huge story behind the track. It's a nice song to hear in the middle of the record. You get some of the clean vocals from Tyler and Damon is doing the harmonies on the track. “A.N.X.I.E.T.Y” gets back into the screaming and the heavy guitars right off the bat. It’s a good track live to set the tone for a mosh pit or get the wall of death going. A perfect song for those bigger festivals, I can tell definitely. You get basically get cleaner screams throughout the couple of songs.
When I saw this next track come up for the record, I was excited as it has the only feature of the album on it -“Floating” featuring Rory Rodriguez from Dayseeker. Rory is a very prominent name in the scene right now, and he has some of most wicked clean vocals, next to Noah Sebastian from Bad Omens. I was kind of wondering if the band was going to go hard or softer for this track as Rory, and even Of Virtue, can do both. But they went a softer route for the track and that shined for Tyler and Damon's vocals. For typical feature tracks I hear from bands, the feature only has a verse and you sometimes don’t hear them at all after that. With this release, once you hear Rory’s vocals he is prominent throughout the second half of the song, and I’m happy the band got that from him. He does perform some of those higher vocals that you hear from the recent Dark Sun record from Dayseeker. The second half of the song almost sounds like a bonus track to that record, and it gave me chills. “True Colors” is very much a good rock song with some cleans throughout it that it honestly feels like an album track rather than a single when it was dropped. Surprised it was dropped as a single as it didn’t fit that vibe at all, when I first heard it. Nonetheless, it’s a good track on the album.
“Sinner” is the biggest release on Spotify as of writing, as it has over six million streams on Spotify. No doubt that it's easily everyone's favourite single from the record so far. It’s very much a head-banger track when you hear it live from the band. This was the song I believe how I found the band, as well. It goes through some back-and-forth louder vocals from Tyler then some singing parts from Damon. Easily one of my favourites from the band, and the record, that I can say will shape the band more in the future. “Holy” features more of Damon's high clean vocals right off the bat, then goes into this bigger chorus, with Tyler singing some cleans as well. It feels like a big, softer track for the back half of the record. It does have a very repetitive chorus, but that’s typical in most modern-day metal tracks. “Cannibals” is up next, with catchy lyrics and guitar rhythm throughout the song that I can’t stop listening. My favourite lyrics from the song have to be “Three cheers as we sink to the bottom / Five words never meant to follow.” The song also has a decent harder breakdown that is perfect for a mosh pit. Wish this song was as popular as “Sinner,” as it's so good, but hopefully, after the release of the record drops, it pushes the streams up more. The final track on the record is “False Idols,” with a surprising electronic start that threw me off guard, as not many electronic instruments were presented on the rest of the record. “False Idols” is another brighter and bigger track with guitars, drums, and bass going all over the place. It goes through all the emotions of everything that you hear throughout this record, but all in one track. I love the delivery from both Damon and Tyler from various different parts of the song. They added a cool guitar solo near the end of the song that gives that good final touch. A favourite lyric of mine that I think I can make out is when Tyler sings, “No control, I can’t let go / The pain I feel goes on and on.” I'm going to be repeating this song for a while after the record's release, that’s for sure.
For Omen, Of Virtue wrote some catchy songs and some banger songs. They went with more of the new metal sound for this record and for different themes and topics touched in the songs, the band went in different directions, which I love. Hopefully, the band gets shown more throughout the scene after the record is released, as well as perform more live shows in the next couple of years to promote this album's release.