VTT- Symptoms of Sin

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chances are that VTT isn’t a band you are familiar with unless you’re from New Jersey and have been to a lot of rock shows in the past few years. Formed in 2005, the group plays mid-tempo hard rock/alt metal that is similar to what has been circulating around the underground rock scene for quite a few years now. On their third full length effort Symptoms of Sin VTT has recruited Billy Graziadei of Biohazard and Suicide City to produce and as a result they have much better sound quality than before. But while there are some noteworthy elements on this effort it is a little too short and the vocals at times seem a little off which may dampen the impact that these songs have on listeners.

If you’ve been an avid hard rock fan for awhile now, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Symptoms of Sin as it offers mid-tempo riffs that are similar to what many of the other acts out there have been writing for quite some time now. Unlike some of the others out there though, VTT actually has some decent instrumentalists in their ranks and at times are able to play catchy riffs that sound like a cross between southern rock and sludge rock/metal. However, the main issue with this effort is that there isn’t quite enough material on it to make an impact. There are only nine tracks on the album and one of them is a live version of “Wake of the White Devil”. This wouldn’t be a problem if each of these tracks really stood out, but unfortunately VTT hasn’t yet reached the point where they have individual songs that truly stand out on their own and because of this the short length proves to be a bit of an issue.

The vocals on Symptoms of Sin are a mix between gruff, lower pitched clean vocals and slightly higher pitched ones. Although the lead singer of VTT occasionally breaks into some screams they are closer in style to acts such as Drowning Pool rather than being similar to metalcore screams. However, one of the main issues with this album would have to be the backup vocals. While they are not used on every song, listeners will likely notice that it occasionally sounds as though the backing vocals aren’t quite synced up with the lead singer and this can create some very strange sounding choruses. It isn’t bad enough to make you want to turn the album off, but it is something the group will need to address.

VTT’s latest effort isn’t bad, but it doesn’t quite have enough noteworthy elements that will make them stand out from the competition. If they can work on crafting catchy riffs that sound different from one another, throw in a couple more songs and improve their backup singing (or perhaps just give the focus entirely to the lead singer) then they will definitely be a stronger band. For now they’re worth checking out if you’re really into the rawer side of hard rock, just don’t expect to be blown away.


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