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Vortice: Host

Catalonian math metallers step out of the shadows

Barcelona’s Vortice have had a tough ride trying to crowbar themselves away from the Meshuggah comparisons since their debut, and while Host brings plenty of that to the table, there are things happening here that finally give them a sense of originality.

Host is a progressive album that drifts away from the predictable rhythmic ventures of math metal and reaches for new horizons.

The trippy space-age instrumental that splits the album in half is a signpost that Vortice want more from the bludgeoning technicality evident elsewhere in the effects-laden punchbag that is Transcending The Right Things.

When they’re not slipping back into trad-tech mode, Vortice do some neat things: the epic, soaring closer of the title track being one example, evoking thoughts of smashing your skull against a wall while imbibing progressive chemistry at the last hurdle.