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Artist: Vessel
Label: Burning Records

With a band name like Vessel and a label name like Burning Records, what else could this be but hardcore? Now, itís pretty much no secret that Iím not a big fan of the genre (see my Tollbooth review of Selfmindead if you donít believe me), but every once in awhile, a hardcore band will put out an album that blows my little Georgian mind. So where does Vessel fit into this equation?

Somewhere in the middle, of course. Their debut eponymous album is certainly not the worst hardcore album Iíve ever heard (Iím not gonna mention any names here), but itís also not on the level of Blindsideís latest album. Vocalist Andrew Labedz does that tortured screaming thing thatís so popular in the scene, and while heís a pretty good screamer, that style of vocal doesnít do much for me. Guitarist Michael Fealko and bassist Steven Robertshaw are pretty good with their instruments-­again, not the best in the business, but theyíll have plenty of time to perfect their craft. Iíll be interested to see how much Vessel has improved on their next album.

Michial Farmer  10/7/2000



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