In Virtue – “Embrace the Horror” (2012)


Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

Yet another reason you can never judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to metal bands, artists and musicians. Take the California band In Virtue for instance. Judging by the pictures of the band, I am not sure what I was expecting, but what I found was a potent power metal force, which was not afraid to mix in influences from various other sub-genres and styles, such as classical and even a little bit of prog on their second full-length “Embrace the Horror” but the vibe is decidedly and gloriously metal. I am no guitar player, so take it for what it’s worth but guitarist Trey Xavier strikes me as a guitar virtuoso in waiting. It’s just my opinion, but damn, listen to some of his solos. So it has been established that this is a band that has a lot to offer in the way of musicianship, but are the songs any good? The opening track “Suspense of Disbelief” made a believer out of me (sorry for the bad pun, couldn’t resist). Vocalist The Infamous Ms. C style is right on par with the music and offers a perfect complement to what is going on musically and guitarist Trey is also there to provide some more extreme metal vocals. “Twin Species: The Virtuous and Vengeful” offers some more in the way of virtuosity in the way of guitar as some prog influences creeps into the sound but mostly this is a soaring metal track, that features some tempo changes and the diverse vocals of Trey and Ms. C. The third track “Witch Hunt” ups the ante with its heavy opening riff as guest vocalist Arthur von Nagel from the band Cormorant provides some extreme vocals, while Ms.C starts off with some cool harmonizing in the background before joining with an operatic style, proving that she is adept at providing different styles to use. Two of my favorite tracks are the two most epic numbers, first the 9-minute “The Essence of Unreason” and the closing 12-minute classical/progressive/metal/polka fused out-of-this-world instrumental “Afterture”. This track just goes everywhere and for a 12-minute instrumental it maintains the listeners’ attention throughout, it’s just brilliant. In between you will find some cool material like “In Service to His Madness“, “Foresworn II – Parabola” and “Dead Black Eyes” Man, In Virtue totally shattered all of my expectations with “Embrace the Horror”. What I found was an album that features 1-hour of unrelenting metal music and an album that I would hope would be ‘embraced’ by metal fans the world over. In Virtue is the real deal.

Rating – 95/100



  1. Suspence of Disbelif
  2. Twin Species: The Virtuous and the Vengeful
  3. Witch Hunt
  4. In Service to His Madness
  5. Alea Iacta Est
  6. The Essence of Unreason
  7. Foresworn II – Parabola
  8. Cataclysmic Shock
  9. Dead Black Eyes
  10. Afterture (Requiem for Planet Earth)


Line Up

  • The Infamous Ms. C – Lead Vocals
  • Trey Xavier – Guitar, Vocals
  • Laura Nelson – Keyboards
  • Chack Schindler – Bass
  • Eli Vogt – Drums



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