Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rot - Northlane [New Single With New Vocalist]

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The first Northlane track to feature Marcus Bridge on vocals. No he's not the same as Adrian, but this track gives us a great look at his abilities. Marcus's cleans are outstanding. They aren't as unique as Adrian's but I definitely think that his voice fits the atmospheric tone and feel of Northlane. His screams on the other hand... are actually much more impressive than I expected. He has quite the range on those screams and he sure as hell sounds good on this track. The instrumentation isn't anything too impressive as far as Northlane goes, but it still is Northlane, so definitely expect plenty of rhythmic variation as well as some tremendous melodies. These guys have always been on top of their game and I hope that Marcus is a welcome addition to the group and he helps push them forwards.

Moments of Clarity [EP] - ERRA

          Ahh now this is really something special... The guys in ERRA are known for being insanely talented and high energy musicians, and I can confirm that these guys are crazy talented. I've been a fan of them since their full-length Impulse and after a few lineup changes, Moments Of Clarity is the new EP from ERRA. Many people believed that losing their frontman and a guitarist who both contributed heavily to the writing process would hurt ERRA, but I think it helped give them that last shove that they needed to polish things off.

          To start things off we are greeted with Dreamcatcher, which was the first single released from this EP. This song is a perfect example of how ERRA diversifies their sound and tries to stray away from the metal-core-chug-brootal-chug cliche. The song opens with a beautiful harp line and the melodic line that we hear in the intro is a motif throughout this track. Ian's screams sound great here. There are definitely some fast and tricky patterns but he nails them all and I really like the aggressive sound of his screams. These screams offer a bit of contrast from Jesse's cleans, but they are also the perfect compliment. Transitions between sections are absolutely flawless and it really seems that Ian has put all his effort into developing his sound for ERRA, and I'll be the first to say that the result is kick-ass.

          Probably my personal favorite off of this EP is Warrior. This track is nothing shy of great and every single aspect seems that it has been fine tuned to ERRA's standards. Guitar tones are graceful with Ian's screams sounding brutal and Jesse's cleans absolutely nailing the feel of this track. The band members actually said that this track is a "fictional story based on the Nayenezgani legend from Navajo culture. It's a story of the Navajo in a battle against the "white man" and their modern weapons. In a moment of desperation and near defeat, this supernatural warrior from Navajo legend appears on the battlefield to save his people." (Jesse Cash). While I don't typically pay a lot of attention to lyrics, I like to see that this band is experimenting and placing deeper meaning in their lyrics rather than the oh so cliche "you're not alone" lyrics that have sadly become quite common in metal-core. As far as instrumentals go, I feel like this track has one of the best mixes out of all the songs that these guys have ever put out, and that's saying something.

          While it is an EP, and it's only 23 minutes long... listeners should understand that this is 23 minutes of incredibly talented musicians hammering away at their craft. These guys have really established their own sound in a scene that has become far too generic. Not only is this an extremely solid EP, but it shows us what's in store for ERRA. This was their first release with Ian on vocals so expect all of the kinks to be worked out by the time the next full-length comes out.
          Final thoughts. Moments of Clarity kicks ass. It's that simple. This EP may not be as ground breaking as the first time a lot of us heard their stuff from Impulse, but it's still the same old ERRA that we love and their sound is clearly growing and evolving, while staying unique and fresh. Definitely give this one a listen!

Moments of Clarity = 4.5/5

Check out my favorite track off the EP, Warrior.