An ominous noise fades in, the tension builds and then the slow, pounding ‘Heartless’ kicks off the album in an extremely angry fashion before ending abruptly, giving way to the drum fill that precedes the second track. As far as album openers go, it’s not the most unique but it does the job. Unfortunately, that can be said for the Milton Keynes quintet’s ten-track release as a whole. It is undeniably a metalcore album with crunchy riffs, breakdowns and angry roars making up the verses that juxtapose with choruses of melodic singing, and while the synths and dubstep style electronic noises that litter the album do add a little something extra, nothing really jumps out, grabs the listener and forces them to pay attention.
The guitar tone is crisp, even if the repetitive chugging is a little irritating after a while, and every drum hit is audible but that is let down slightly by the over-the-top triggers making it sound almost like a drum machine. Heaviness is in abundance and the way in which breakdowns hit really does sound crushing, although they are so recurring that after a few tracks, it begins to lose impact. Conversely, the few ambient passages (such as in ‘Fake It ‘til You Make It’) are a real breath of fresh air and deliver the dynamics that the album needs. Chris Weaves is obviously a talented vocalist; his screams ranging from almost guttural to high-pitched, then back again to pure rage-fuelled roars, and he displays a wide range with his clean singing, most notably in ‘Another Time, Another Place’. A good portion of the lyrics seem to revolve around a relationship or introspection, so whilst not the most original subject matter, the words used are easy to relate to and connect with.
If Emmure, Bury Tomorrow and Skrillex collaborated to make an album, this would most likely be the result. It is definitely not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination; just don’t expect it to be in any top ten lists at the end of the year.
Rated 7 out of 10