Track By Tracks: VileDriver - The Rest Are Prey (2023)

The album was recorded by 414 Recordings, Eddie Lucciola in November 2020. I liked Eddie's recordings because everything was incredibly clear and noise-free, and we need that for a band like ours. The tracks were then taken to Luc Chaisson in 2022 to mix and master and he put his creative spin on them. We are thankful to both of those gents for helping us out and always going the extra mile.

1. Modern Warfare:

We call this song "The Rush Tune" because in the middle I play that is exactly 2112 for a few seconds 1:107 - 1:14. The drums do something different but that's what's going on there. You hear the drummer play the 2112 pattern briefly on the splash cymbal which is kinda like the castanets Neil Peart plays at the beginning of 2112. It's strange that he died not long ago as well, so this ends up being a tribute to him. This is one song that actually has a proper intro - trying to get Aaron (drummer) to stop playing for a couple seconds is difficult but he did here, and I think it rips into the song very aggressively by adding suspense.

2. Fractional:

We call this song Asshole song. It's because I had previously written a whole song and Aaron (drummer) did not care for it and it got trashed. I started writing a new song with complete irreverence for any songwriting rules I had or scales and whatnot, just being a complete asshole when it comes to songwriting. It was when I threw all my rules out the window that Aaron dug into my ideas. More and more rehearsing the song resulted in it creating a vibe that I started to understand and the song wrote itself pretty quickly from there. This is one very early in VileDriver's tenure and we were playing this song live before our first album was even released.

3. Boredroom:

Boredroom is also a very old song for us but is a complete mix of mid-tempo metal to death metal and industrial-metal sounding riffage. My favourite part is the Pantera breakdown at the end.

4. From Afar:

I'm embarrassed to say that this song is referred to as "The fast song" because its fast for us (the album makes it sound slow and relaxed but our sphincters are gripped for this one). I find there's a lot of faster metal songs with fast drums but the guitar player isn't doing a whole lot with their left hand. So here I am trying to fit one note per beat which makes it a ripper on guitar. The first note-part to come up is based on a speed-scale riff taught to me around 1992 when I briefly took guitar lessons at Central Music in Welland Ontario Canada. I was toying with it and decided to memorialize it by making it into a VileDriver song so that I can always keep that speed scale well-polished.

5. Code Blue:

We call this song Jumptoon because, for the first riffs, I imagine the audience jumping together and creating a wave along to the tempo. This is a classic VileDriver song and features a great riff at 2:28 that is a tip-of-the-hat to one of my favorite local metal bands Dismata, which I feel is something they would do. Dustin (vocalist) wrote this song about his time at the hospital caring for his father.

6. The Few:

I wrote most of this song in the 90's believe it or not. I liked the thought of VileDriver actually having one slow song, like Lamb Of God has Omerta and Metallica has The Thing That Should Not Be. We call this one "the slow song", which we often rehearse after "the fast song" (see above). This one is very much influenced by Voivod's Negatron off the album of the same name (if you listen to that song, you'll note a resemblance). The notes held in the intro using an infinite delay/echo effect, continue through the whole song and give it this ethereal other-earthly vibe. Electronic music is a lot about textures and sometimes sounds affecting you almost subliminally, so this is that theory in practice. Overall this is the lushest and layered song on this album, and I was allowed some liberties in adding parts to elevate the song to their crushing choruses. Dustin (vocalist) wrote this song as a tribute to all the friends who have stuck by his side throughout the years.

7. Dethblow:

This song is very bizarre and has this stretched-finger ascending/descending riff in it that I fear playing live. There's lots of fun stuff in there and I even djent a bit in one part. There is an audio sample thereof Kramer from Seinfeld, upset that they're late to see the movie called Deathblow - which was an attempt at injecting some humor into the song by our drummer Aaron. I djent a bit in one part of this song - everything goes in this band which makes us hard to categorize.

8. Sold Short:

We call this one Teabagger as a joke, which was coined by Aaron (drummer). This one is getting very dark and bizarre, with one of those guitar solo parts where Aaron also solos on the drums. I'm gonna totally ruin this for you but at 2:22 you'll start hearing this high-up finger-tapping lick and I think it sounds like Super Mario when he powers up with a magic mushroom lol.

9. Scumsucker:

This is a song I wrote around 1997 - I remember creating a beat on a drum machine for this song way back then, before quitting guitar completely to begin producing Drum n' Bass electronic music. Back then, there really was no genre for this sort of tech metal - I wasn't even into extreme metal back then. I wondered if writing in this obscure style was actually WORSENING my songwriting hahaha. Like, shouldn't I be trying to write melodic and comprehendible music you can dance to??? Skip ahead 20 years and I was in the right place and time to bring this one out and mess with it, just like The Few.

10. Oil Under The Burning Bridge:

Much like our 2017 album Primary has a juggernaut metal epic song ending the album, this one is a masterpiece. The intro is inspired by my past in Drum n' Bass music/Jungle music (electronica) and I have lots of fun using infinite delay like in The Few and I use it here, and it is something King Crimson's Robert Fripp was made famous for on a much wider scale, creating orchestral soundscapes with guitar effects. Everything in this song is taxing for us to play, but we tell ourselves to stfu and grit our teeth and pump it out. Sometimes we stop to work on a part and we don't even really know what the hell we're doing. This features Dustin (vocalist) exorcising the demons that plague him and managing to get very open and in touch with his anger when pen came to paper.

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