What is going on in the world of industrial hardcore punk? Between Code Orange, Frontierer, Jesus Piece and Sanction, it's been an exciting few years for this caustic subgenre. Vein.fm (formerly Vein) always stood out simply by being more chaotic than any of those other bands. Their 2018 debut Errorzone shattered the boundaries between digital hardcore and noise, creating something that barely registered as music while still enthralling critics and listeners alike. Vein.fm return with a shiny new name to upend the rules again. This World Is Going To Ruin You is less abrasive than Errorzone. But it's also unpredictable, exciting and wildly fun. The wait was definitely worth it. There is a lot more than a name change going on in this album.
The songs on This World Is Going To Ruin You fall into two categories: sub-two minute blasts and more introspective long takes. The first type sounds mostly like Errorzone, capturing all the audio violence of the Vein.fm debut. "Versus Wyoming," "Inside Design," and "The Killing Womb" will have hardened noise junkies begging for more. It's like all the harshest parts of hardcore being fed into an industrial grinder with a computer virus.
It's the second type of song where things get interesting. Vein.fm are capable of a lot of things, but clean vocals? No way! They feature heavily on "Fear In The Non Fiction," easily the most accessible song Vein.fm have ever written. Hearing the clear voice of Thursday's Geoff Rickly sing out over all the noise is more jarring than any industrial sample could have been. It's the moment that we know all bets are off. We're now on uncharted ground. If Vein.fm can incorporate a melodic vocal melody, what else can they do?
Quite a lot, it seems. "Wavery" builds and builds from a laid back riff into a heavy beatdown over four achingly tense minutes. There is a shade of Whitechapel's Kin on this track, while still being unmistakably Vein.fm. Nü-metalcore isn't exactly a big stretch for a band of this genre, but Vein.fm do it in a way that meshes perfectly with their normal aesthetic. It makes "Wavery" an instant set list staple.
But the weirdest experiment is "Funeral Sound," a seven-minute abstract piece that ends the album on a high note. After a few minutes of plodding piano, Vein.fm (once again) do the unexpected. Post rock vocals blend with an ambience that can best be described as Deftones meets older Sleep Token. It's far outside the box from anything Vein.fm have done before. With dynamics and a little restraint, they manage to make it the most memorable song on This World Is Going To Ruin You. By the time it fades out, the memory of the album's first half, as well as Errorzone, is fading too.
There really is no telling where Vein.fm could go from here. They've definitely proved that they are capable of more than just mindless hardcore. The second half of This World's Is Going To Ruin You verges into sounding like Converge's later albums, and that is meant in the best possible way. Who knows? With so much happening in the industrial hardcore world, we could see Vein.fm emerging as the next major players. As it stands, fans who were blown away by Errorzone can expect the new album to scratch familiar itches without retreading the same ground. Vein.fm have raised the bar for any industrial hardcore that comes out in 2022.