Made In Vain
Lies In Ruin

Here at Teeth of the Divine dot Com, we pride ourselves in providing lip service for the underground’s smaller acts and labels. We all know what CDs Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast and Century Media are releasing thanks to mammoth advertising in print magazines and online webzines. So how about a release from a Houston based thrash/death metal band Made in Vain on Ground Sloth Media?

Touting themselves as the quintessential DIY-band, Made In Vain recorded their debut album in their own rehearsal space that they converted into a studio. With no triggers, no replacement software around, the experience is unadulterated. Lies in Ruin is a decent album full of modern but organic, grooving thrash metal with hints of death metal. The nearest comparison I can make is fellow DIY thrash act Hemoptysis. Despite being armed with a robust, earthy production, tangible conviction and plenty of energy, Made in Vain aren’t quite yet ready to make the jump to the big leagues. That being said, Lies in Ruin should be of interest to fans of Testament, classic Sepultura, Possessed, Pantera and fellow Texans Skinlab.

Nothing on the album blows me away, but the nine pretty lengthy tracks all display a competence and confidence that makes Made in Vain a successful local act just waiting for that big break or that bigger label to come sniffing around. Vocalist Greg Bowers is mostly responsible for the more death metal influence with his more menacing vocal presence that most thrash–retro or classic–lacks. The riffs are firmly rooted in both. The pace is, for the most part, a deliberate double bass backed trot or controlled canter with anything rarely getting into blast beats or anything too frantic. Perfect examples are the 6+ minute title track and 7+ minute “Serenity” which lumbers and lopes with steady rumble. Rangy instrumental “Among the Shadows”, another 7+ minute track, shows a little more introspection and spreading of the creative wings with samples and acoustics.

A couple of tracks like “Vile” and “Blood Omen” turn up the intensity a bit, but still the album lacks that certain, pure balls to the wall material. Something I’d actually like Made In Vain to deliver. The group needs to push their concept a little bit more and that way, add to their potential, as on the whole the songwriting is a bit too safe and thus, in the end, a bit dull in the long run.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 7th, 2011


  1. Commented by: shaden

    if i see an underground band on here that i haven’t heard a year in advance it would be a red letter day.that being said,it’s not nice to compare anyone to skinlab.who are by the way from san fran. one actually likes pantera,exhorder forever.

  2. Commented by: stiffy

    Shaden your so fucking opinionated I’d like to see you write reviews on this site.

  3. Commented by: Mark

    I guess I didn’t get the memo that it wasn’t ok for me to like Pantera after all these years.

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