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Name In Vain - "Name In Vain" (CD/EP)

Name In Vain - "Name In Vain" CD/EP cover image

"Name In Vain" track listing:

1. Persecuted
2. Pitbull Wings
3. Back Down
4. Crept

Reviewed by on November 19, 2009

"'Pitbull Wings' is about the city of Denver's famous pit bull ban and the fact that the dogs can be seized from their owners and killed - hence the call to punish 'the deed, not the breed.'"

Obviously inspired by the likes of Pantera and Godsmack, Rhode Island's Name In Vain adds little new to the metal niche they inhabit on their self-titled EP. This is one of those bands that you can pretty much guess what the whole disc is going to sound like by the first few notes of the opening track. So, in the absence of much in the way of originality, one should probably review this album based on the band's competency in other areas. In other words, does the band rock well enough to make you forget that you've heard all of this before? The answer on this one is a frustrating "sort of."

"Persecuted" opens with muscular guitar and drums courtesy of Bobby Klang and Jeremy Jutras, before giving way to Matt Pelosi's deep vocals that give way to a gravelly shout. This is a real watch-checker of a song after its about halfway over. Some variety, like say a solo, probably would've broken up the monotony of hearing the same verse-bridge-chorus structure so many times in a row.

The disc's best track, "Pitbull Wings," shows what this band can do when they really try to change things up. The song begins with an aggressive section with Pelosi nearly rapping over Jutras' grinding guitar riff. Then a minute in, there's a sudden stop, followed by a quiet section that is almost dominated by John Heroux's bass line. "Pitbull Wings" is about the city of Denver's famous pit bull ban and the fact that the dogs can be seized from their owners and killed - hence the call to punish "the deed, not the breed."

"Back Down" has more of a hard rock vibe, but gains a welcome dose of energy following a bass break by Heroux. It's nothing you haven't heard before, but it's well played.

"Crept" has a Black Sabbath feel in the intro before cranking up the speed and aggression during the verses. Once again, Pelosi's spitting out the lyrics in an almost rap-like fashion. During the slow interlude in the middle, the sheer repetition of the words "let me die" gets to be a bit much, but it's an okay tune otherwise.

This is certainly an okay disc for a couple of spins, but I doubt that even Name In Vain's hometown fans in Providence are going to be playing it for much more than that. There's just not enough that separates this band from the rest of the post-Pantera pack to keep things interesting.

Highs: "Pitbull Wings"

Lows: The disc's opener, "Persecuted"

Bottom line: Okay for a spin or two, but not veering much at all from the same territory covered by a lot of other post-Pantera metal acts.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)