The Reprise/Intoxication Records debut from Canadian hard rockers Art of Dying manages to fuse classic rock, retro-'80s hair metal, and 21st century post-grunge into a palatable cocktail, but Vices and Virtues never sinks its hooks in deep enough to draw anything out but a trickle of red. Produced by Howard Benson (Daughtry, Three Days Grace, Creed), the Vancouver quintet shows promise on arena-sized, radio-ready crushers like “Die Trying” and “You Don’t Know Me,” which fall somewhere in between Godsmack and Nickelback, as well as the slow-burn, midtempo “Sorry,” which shows off the band’s excellent three-part harmonies. But there’s too much by rote, reality TV balladry (“I Will Be There,” “Best I Can”) and too many wannabe flannel jams (“Get Thru This,” “Whole World’s Crazy”) disrupting the transmission, resulting in a record that doesn’t exactly flatline, but rarely peaks.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger