Lailoken – Saffron
Illustrated – Bamboo
Aftrlyfe – Better Plan (Azuki Remix)
Nok Nok – Light It Up
Willdabeast – Meh
Lil Fish – Lotus
Red Giant Project – All Gold
BARDZ – Theogony
B3K & Sink – I Stay Open
Dorfex Bos & Patches O’Malley – Is It So
Sullust – Monolith
Comisar – Never Ever (feat. Reilly Comisar)
RANSOM – Spelunker
DELTAnine & Sayzar – Relic
Buzz Junior – Filthy As Eva
Father Bear – One Time
LWKY and Jake Walker – Skysetter
Shakti – Just Breathe
Drishti Beats – Find Your Way (feat. DAYZ)
Revived after a near-4 year hiatus, the Virtus in Sonus series returns in a bid to fulfill its founding mission; unite emerging and established Gravitas artists into a single, diverse release. With Virtus acting as an Ancient Roman virtue representing excellence and Sonus a Latin term for noise, this album does a really good job capturing a range of different influences across its compiled tracks. Combining an eclectic selection of electronic music, Virtus in Sonus V is a musically interesting and decent release and across its hour run-time, various artists are given the limelight to showcase their talent.
The album opens with “Saffron”, a track that blends ethnic influences with a simple drum beat that works well to accentuate the synths that ooze through this one and help it become an instant head-bopper. Illustrated’s “Bamboo” adds a pulsating bass-line to proceedings, teasing earlier glimmers of that ethnic motif that helps tie everything together. “Light It Up” instantly grabs your attention too, combining distorted bass guitars with a simple repeated vocal echoing the song’s title.
The next few tracks continue to flirt that line between break-beat and dubstep, before this tone is switched up once more with “All Gold” by Red Giant Project which continues the vocal-heavy vibes going while adding auto-tune and a funky groove-line for good measure. “Is It So” takes the album to its instrumental beginnings but this time the tone leans a lot heavier into dub-step territory. The reverberating woofers and an impressive breakdown around the midway point crescendos back with a haunting vocal that perfectly marks the halfway point of this compilation.
“Filthy As Eva” is certainly one of the highlights of the album though and this track boasts a dark, grimy and perfectly chilling minor-key banger that uses a nice range of vibrating samples and a quick tempo. On the back of this, “One Time” switches tones back to a more uplifting major key number and this sudden shift gives the song a lot more power than it otherwise would have elsewhere on the album.
Whether by accident or not, these two tracks work so well together before the final track of the album strips all the break-beat, distorted bass and dubstep away to deliver a lovely jazzy house song in “Find Your Way”. This song feels very reminisce of those warm-up bridge numbers during DJ sets; the perfect track to play between floor-fillers and chilled beats while clubbers enjoy their drinks.
Given the broad range of influences and different types of tracks on this compilation, Virtus in Sonus won’t hit that strived excellence with every listener but it’s the sort of album you’re likely to find small glimmers of brilliance depending on your own musical tastes. Whether it’s the heavy vocal numbers, the auto-tuned break-beat or the outright filthy dub-step, this compilation does a great job tailoring its content to a diverse audience.
This variety is ultimately what makes the album so interesting and musically diverse. It also ties in nicely with those earlier explanations of what this compilation is all about. Rather than slipping into the format of repeating the same phrases, simple melodies and stock drum beats across the tracks, Virtus in Sonus makes a concerted effort to actually showcase a wide range of music tastes across its album. While our stand-outs remain “Saffron”, “Filthy As Eva” and “One Time”, the beauty with this album comes from the sheer breadth of influence on this that gives a little something for everyone. If there’s one compilation album you check out this weekend – make it Virtus in Sonus V.
Verdict - 7.5/10