A majority of Vulnerable’s eviscerating nature, however, comes from the throat of vocalist Ricky Gillis. Gillis hits a remarkable range of vocal styles–from letlive.-esque screeches to harsh, horrendous screams and growls that sound like they could be on a Like Moths to Flames and Beacons collaboration. Gillis brings a whole new dimension of diversity to RVNT’s dynamic that keeps the listener’s ears glued to the speaker, craving whatever cunning one-liner (“Circles” is especially rife with them) Gillis has to let loose next. Where “Circles” and “Vain” see Gillis at his apex lyrically, his performance on “Buried Alive” and “Leech” are far and away the ones most exemplary of his awesome range. Tracks like “Leech” are home to performances that will no doubt launch Gillis into the halls of vocal greatness.
Gillis is the brain that controls the fierce, immense animal that is RVNT. Where Gillis shouts and screams, the band’s instrumentation becomes sharp and aggressive–or blunt and brutalizing. Rodriguez-Quiles’ percussion is pummeling and intense, as Madariaga’s bass takes on a murderously low tone and the Sweeney/Potter dynamic dives in for the kill, slamming at the listener like the Hulk on a bad day. However, when Gillis opts to sing, RVNT become as unpredictable as a wounded Pitbull. Wreaking havoc on the listener during the clean (but instrumentally frenzied) chorus of “Vain,” or begging for kindness and evoking pity during the closing seconds of “Leech,” the band make expert use of the time-tested heavy-soft dynamic. However, where many bands stutter and falter with their sound on their debut EP, RVNT let it ring with the expertise of a veteran to the heavy music scene, shocking the listener with prodigal talent.
- New Transcendece, 2015