ERRA – Drift

Ok fine, I’ll stop playing league to post something, but only because I’m on tilt and don’t want to get demoted.

Imagine Periphery, except 10x more generic, with superficial technicality (because I guess they wanted credibility or something????), and a vocalist that somehow manages to be even more generic than the music the band produces itself. I actually amazed, normally when I go into a record thinking I’m going to like it, I have a hard time giving it a bad score. But fuck me sideways, these guys pulled it off. I guess the later half of the record is “better”, if I can really call it that, but that’s more to a testament to how mind mindbogglingly boring the first half is. If you have heard a progressive metalcore album, you have heard this album before. The djent aspects seem to be there just because apparently that’s a requirement if you’re going to have -core and progressive in your genre tags. The djenty riffs have no real rhyme or reason to them, sounding more like they’re just trying to give a vague sense of trendiness, than any sort of actual rhythm or structure any good djent band creates. To be honest I just looked at porn the entire second half of the album, because I figured I wouldn’t get through it any other way. But I couldn’t actually find anything good, so I basically just spent the time looking at shitty deviantart tier r34 drawings while listening to music I hated. So congrats ERRA, you made looking at porn a miserable experience. Now please chug somewhere else where nobody can hear you.


4/10

After the Burial – Dig Deep ALBUM REVIEW

Someone send help, I like the new After the Burial record. And not just like, I fucking love this thing. Why? Because the riffs are fucking amazing that’s why. Dig Deep legitimately bats 1.000 in terms of riffs. I was actually fucking amazed that they didn’t slip up once, every riff this band attempts is great. I want to especially talk about the first three tracks, which in terms of pure hardcore djent, are just about perfection. Collapse is up there with Akroasis in terms of tracks this year that I replayed numerous times. I mean just holy fuck that opening riff. Such a powerful way to start the album, sucking you in to a world of riffage unseen from any other djent album this year.

It gets a little bit shakier when they try to be more melodic. Not because they do it poorly, quite the opposite in fact, but because it feels like much more of something I’ve heard before. One of the things that immediately sucked me into this album was that it felt like hardcore, minimal tonality djent album that wasn’t a Meshuggah clone. That’s done basically never, at least not done well. So while 4 out of the 9 tracks are more of the traditional djenty variety, the other 5 are more ingrained the melodic metalcore variety, with djent riffs scattered throughout. While I do prefer the group of 4 to the group of 5, no track on here is a disappointment, delivering great melodic and riffage goodness every time (with the possible exception of the last track, that’s the only one that maybe dips below an 8/10).

However despite how consistent the tracks are, there are two things that prevent me from going into the 9/10 territory. For one, the album has a bit of a one dimensional nature, lacking any sort of special extras that are needed to elevate an album to higher territory. Like I said, it has riffs, it has melody, but nothing else really supplementing it, not even really completing the triumvirate with any sort of atmosphere. Which leads me to my last criticism, that the album is really in an need of a final 7-8 minute “master track” to tie everything together. Right now it feels like a really well decorated christmas tree, but without the gold star or angel on top. It’s missing that extra 10% to cap everything off, where it pulls out all the stops and all the bands energy to deliver the best they have to offer. The 39 minute run time is just not quite enough for how good the music contained in it is.

Yeah I’m gonna get some looks for giving this a good score, but I like what I like, and to this, Dig Deep is a fucking awesome piece of music that deserve to be looked at as one of the top -core records of the last few years.

And yes, the air horn is awful. I don’t care, the album still rocks.


8.75/10

Enshine – Singularity ALBUM REVIEW

Emulating space is challenge lots of bands try to accomplish and often fail at. The kicker is that they try to do this by simply putting some spacey ambient sections, and maybe some production effects with the guitars. Unfortunately, this album is absolutely no different. Singularity brings out all the stops to make sure you feel like you’re taking a ride amongst the cosmos, but unfortunately you’ll end up feeling more like you’re in a planetarium, a shitty high school one at that. I tried really hard to get into this, and really feel what Enshine was trying to put on me. But I just couldn’t do it. It’s overproduced, it’s soft, it’s bland, it’s got plenty of that wonderful chugging that we all love, and it elicited absolutely no emotional response in me. In all, it’s an album that’ll go in one ear and out the other, something that’s nothing more than background music. Perhaps it’s fitting for this album to just be another asteroid amongst the vastness of space. After all, what better way to describe space than empty?


4/10

Soilwork – The Ride Majestic ALBUM REVIEW

Despite it’s name, melodic death metal is rarely every very melodic, often relying on metalcore influenced chugging rather than actual consistent flow of melody. And ever when it does sound a bit melodic, it often more sounds like generic power metal with death vocals rather than anything resembling what one would assume melodic death metal should sound like. Soilwork is here to say “fuck what anyone else is doing, let’s do the genre right”. This isn’t the best album this year, but it’s probably the album I’ve been the happiest to hear. This really is some of the best melo death I’ve heard, though I do say that as someone who is not extremely experienced in the genre (mostly because I don’t like much of what the genre as to offer). This goes beyond stereotypical melo death by actually well, being melo death. The focus is completely on the melody, with the absence of any sort of distracting factors. However there is also a subtle complexity in the music, with occasional jazzy chords thrown in, and dynamic shifts that add appreciated some depth to the music. I wouldn’t call this progressive metal, but a musical equivalent of “just the tip” will do fine. Another tip The Ride Majestic dips itself in (or would it be onto?) is the metalcore world. The ever so slight amount of well done chugging and shift between clean and harsh vocals certainly brings that vibe, however it absolutely does not distract from the music in the slightest. If anything I feel like it softens up the record appropriately, as I feel that if this hit too hard, the melodic runs wouldn’t have as much of an impact. The title track is absolutely the pinnacle of this album, being an entire string of logical melodic contours, with nothing to distract the listener. It’s an amazing and pure example of melodic death metal, and it is honestly extremely refreshing to hear it now. The only flaw that I can really find in here is that it’s just amazing rather than being super amazing. I know that’s not going to win me any reviewing skills points but I really can’t put it any other way, it’s amazing but not the most amazing. Despite that, this is certainly one of the best records this year, and anyone who thinks traditional song structure in metal is dead needs to check this out.


9.25/10

Groteskh – Code: End ALBUM REVIEW

I’d call this blackcore, but I’m not entirely confident that’s really a genre yet. Still, has a lot of metalcore influence in it, particularly in melody structure and the rhythmic chugging. I get a very “hipster”ish vibe from this album, however I’m not someone who as soon as they hear anything that isn’t “trve”, doesn’t go into a conniption and immediately goes to metalarchives or deathmetal.org and rages in the forum echo chamber. Instead I take it one album at a time. This certainly has merits to it, the chugging isn’t grating, and the atmosphere, while a bit samey, is certainly pleasant, if a bit soft. The vocals , are a bit unusual, being very raspy and deep. Sounds sort of like if a jaguar tried to speak english. That’s not necessarily a insult, creative vocals are certainly something I look for as much as possible. Does it fit with the music, not that much. Is it kinda cool, sure, which is good enough to make it a plus in my mind. Code: End certainly isn’t a worldbeater, but I’d take it over much of what I’ve heard this year, from any genre.


6.5/10