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Art of Dying

Vices and Virtues


Jonny Hetherington – Vocals

Greg Bradley – Guitar

Jeff Brown – Drums

Cale Gontier – Bass

Travis Stanley - Guitar

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Canada has been producing more and more great rock/hard rock bands. Art of Dying can be added to that list. Since 2006 they have been building an international following and touring with Seether, Disturbed, Tool and Metallica will do that for you. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2007 on iTunes and on CD Baby.  Later that year the album hit retail stores with the help of Thorny Bleeder Records and Universal Music Canada.  In late 2009 the band signed to Reprise Records and Intoxication Records. The album reached stores in March 2011 and features 11 tracks. It opens up with “Die Trying” which gets started with a sweet intro. It is hard and swift as the vocals slide in and deliver the knockout blow. They throw a bunch of different things at you for this opening track. There are a few effects that they place on the vocals and the some perfectly placed backing vocals. It does begin to repeat the lyrics a little bit, but it doesn’t hamper the power of this one. The ending is pretty cool too. “Get Thru This” is an okay track that takes some time to get into and yet it still is a bit boring. Now they do infuse the track with a great segment of battling and backing vocals. Other than the vocals the track is sluggish. The music only steps up once and it’s mainly the drums that do. The guitars never really take that step forward and spread their wings. “Sorry” slows down the album even more than the last tune. This one however has that special element to make it a star. The opening part displays a powerful set of vocals. The music gets going a bit as the guitars swing in and the drums begin to drive. It’s an emotion filled number with a few squeaky notes, but the guitar solo makes up for them. I think it will be even more powerful live. “Whole World’s Crazy” begins with a sweet bass line and killer drums that will get your blood flowing for the short time they are with us. They quickly add in the rest of the guys with swagger. The tune is faster than the last few and gives up a more edgy sound, topped off with a harder guitar solo. It’s a track that you with either love or just skip after a while. For me I think it’s a strong “b” tier song. “Completely” isn’t a strong track on the album, but I think after listening to it several times that this might be a track that just dominates live. I know there are several tracks that I can really stand on a record that I go bonkers for during a concert. Sometimes an album holds back or holds the intensity needed for a song back while the band can really go off during a show and give the track what it needs and deserves. I have a feeling that this is one of those offerings. “I Will Be There” slows the album way down. It offers up an easy listening tune that will have lighters and cell phones lighting up the sky. It has passion written all over it. The vocals are strong and don’t miss a note. The music just seems to stream along. “You Don’t Know Me” gets a bit sadistic and slips back to the harder side of things. It really gets your blood flowing again as they let the guitars loose and the drums hammer home a stellar performance. Although it gets back to the harder side of things I’d like to see it even edgier. “Raining” steps up next and features Cale’s brother Adam. You may know Adam from a little band called Three Days Grace. Anyways, the track stays on the harder side of things. The fierce vocals help the track along while the guitars just skip along and the drums flutter in the back ground. It’s a strong and power track that could do some work, but I’, wondering how they would play this during a live set. I am a fan of it though. “Best I Can” slows the album down again with a heartache filled tune. It’s a powerful and passionate number with excellent gang vocals and a great arrangement of music. If it connects with you it will have a special place in your heart. It will touch you in ways many tracks cannot and will do it with ease. This is one of the best slower tunes so far this year. “Straight Across My Mind” starts out really slow and you might want to skip it because of the way it sounds, but hold on just a moment, you will be glad you did. The track finally explodes with sound and will have you hooked. Now it does slow down during the verses just a bit, but gets going once again during the chorus. Those transitions are very smooth too. It is a great tune once you give it a chance. The guitars are able to get some free time and the drums deliver a great hard hitting set. It’s a good track “Breathe Again” closes the album out with another slower number that lifts up a time or two. It’s a solid tune that fans will enjoy, but I don't think it will bring new fans to the band as it doesn’t have that much star power. Overall this is a very good debut album. It offers up a number of great tunes with excellent writing. The vocals are very good with the exception of a few squeaky moments. They insert a number of backing vocals as well as some gang vocals. There are numerous times that the guitars get to fly high and the drums hammer out a serious beat. I would like to see them get going more often though. The guys do have skill and most are already fine tuned, but a bit more flair and attitude. There are also a few tracks that I think are better suited for the live stage rather than the album or a radio station. I did really enjoy the release and looking forward to hear more. You should take a peak at them too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Die Trying, Raining, Best I Can


Track List:

  1. Die Trying
  2. Get Thru This
  3. Sorry
  4. Whole World’s Crazy
  5. Completely
  6. I Will Be There
  7. You Don’t Know Me
  8. Raining (featuring Adam Gontier)
  9. Best I Can
  10. Straight Across My Mind
  11. Breathe Again

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