Running On Empty
Following a series of singles released over the course of 2022 (“Running On Empty” and “Drown”), Toronto’s Vilivant has returned with their debut full-length album, Running On Empty. Led by singer Julia Gentile, Running On Empty was produced by Sam Guaiana (Silverstein) and marks a strong sophomore release from Vilivant, following 2020’s EP, Never Again.
Upon first hearing Running On Empty, listeners are hit with unsuspectingly heavy “In My Life”, a song driven by a rolling riff, a stomping verse, and an anthemic chorus. The straight ahead rocker sets the tone for those first hearing Vilivant as a hard hitting modern rock outfit in tone with Alter Bridge, Dorothy, and Halestorm. Set apart from their contemporaries by shredding guitar solos and Gentile’s exceptionally powerful vocals, Vilivant’s Running On Empty is nothing short of impressive.
Among the nine songs on the record, Vilivant flexes a dynamic range in their songwriting, from the 80s metal-inspired “Comatose” to the moving balladry of “Valleys”. The title track and initial single, “Running On Empty”, however, steals the show for its sheer relentlessness, showcasing the band at their tightest as they balance heavy riffs and catchy, melodic vocals. Similarly, “Drown” builds on this notion, seeing Vilivant flip from a ballad like tone into a massive chorus. Furthermore, both singles feature bridge sections that feel as inventive and necessary to the song as a whole, a challenging feat for any songwriter. “Running On Empty” and “Drown” stand tall among an already stacked track listing as definite highlights on Vilivant’s 2023 release.
Sporting influences from some of the greatest rock bands to emerge in the last two decades, Running On Empty sees Vilivant establish themselves among the most promising of up and coming rock bands to come out of Canada. Over the course of the album, Vilivant flaunts a refined sense of songwriting, accompanied by explosive musicianship. Without a moment of filler, Running On Empty marks a strong, debut full-length effort from Vilivant.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: VILIVANT – RUNNING ON EMPTY