Self Released 2012
1.As We March To The Fields Of War 2.Abandon All Hope
3.The Baying Of The Wolf 4.To End It All - I 5.To End It All - II 6.To End It All - III
7.This Automated Nightmare 8.Pneumonic 9.The Predators Are Here
A grandiose, militaristic and futuristic soundscape presents itself in the form of opener 'As We March To The Fields Of War' which isn’t so much a track, more an introduction to the track proper, 'Abandon All Hope' which opens up with thunderous, yet melodic rhythms. Melody being the driving force behind the bands sound, not only musically, but vocally. Epic, cleanly sung vocals sweep and swirl from the speakers whilst guttural, growled vocals act as a backing accompaniment. The create an absolutely massive sound, modern metal with a bite, the rhythms absolutely crush and the mix of clean and harsh vocals work extremely well, creating an epic sounding theme. Melodic guitar solos are relied on heavily and more often than not lead the listener into an almost trance like state. 'The Baying Of The Wolf' musically has a more melodic death metal feel to it, the double kicks galloping along to the crushing rhythm guitars with great accuracy and sounding tight as hell. Again, melody is relied on heavily, especially through the cleanly sung vocals which add that dreamy and epic feel. Extreme metal fans who like their metal with a bit of bite will not be disappointed, the guttural growled vocals giving the track an extreme edge and ensure the song isn’t too melodic throughout. 'To End It All – I' is a very very melodic affair, the song stripped right back to an almost acoustic song. The heavier rhythm guitars are introduced but generally seem to be used keep the song in check as very simple riffs/chords are used. The band preferring to keep things as melodic as possible. Cleanly sung dual vocals add even more to the melodic atmosphere being crafted. As the track ends the music does take a heavier turn, providing a sharp end to this monolith of a song .
'To End It All – II' begins life in quite brutal fashion, taking on an almost heavier thrash feel, the vocals snarled and aggressive in keeping with the heavier music. As ever though, melodic driven passages are never far away, introduced between the heavier sections and mixing well. There's a very futuristic feel to this track, especially when the majority of the instruments drop out and the guitars are left to their own devices, creating melodic lead guitar interludes. There's a touch of Scar Symmetry here, maybe spiced up with a touch of Gojira and even Devin Townsend. Even bands such as Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory spring to mind, a multitude of sounds and references on show. 'To End It All – III' follows on seamlessly and is more of the same and isn't that different from the previous track, but maybe that's the intention given that it is the same song title just a different 'part' . It is however, somewhat heavier, the melodic death metal packing more of a punch! Precise guitars and drums give the song a really sharp edge, these lads obviously accomplished musicians which definitely shows here. 'This Automated Nightmare' is as melodic as the band have sounded so far, layered vocals and acoustic guitars bringing this song to life, albeit slowly and melodically. The heavy guitars bellow in and give the song a kick, but it doesn't last long as the boys once again opt for that formula used so heavy in previous songs – melodic passage, heavy passage, more melody etc. It wasn't particualry noticeable up to this point. Its not so much a criticism, more an observation that the tracks sound like they are all structured in the same fashion. 'Pneumonic' begins life in similar fashion to its predecessor, melodic introduction which leads well into a heavier section, the heavier thrash element being re-introduced and again mixed with the more melodic vocal style. Acoustic guitars are used to break the track up into sections, which for all the talent on display, has been done in a lot of the other tracks and is beginning to sound like the 'safe option', the 'correct thing to do', the song never really heading off in one clear direction, rather jumping back and forth from the melodic sections, to the heavy sections, then back again (which all of the tracks on the album appear to have done).
'The Predators Are Here' closes this melodic monster of an album and anyone hoping for a raging end will be (as I was) a bit disappointed. Yes, the tempo is upped slightly and the harsh screamed vocals are utilised well, but yet again, melody and atmosphere override the heaviness, which to be fair, is the right thing to to do for such an album, finish on a musical high rather than packing the killer punch at the end. Fans of blast beats, manic and frantic guitars and harshly screamed and growled vocals all played at 300bpm should walk away now, this most definitely will not be for you. However, if your into musicianship, time changes, well played solos and music with a heavy hint of technicality whilst remaining melodic in essence, then this will be right up your street. The bands ability to handle their instruments does not even come into doubt, such is the professional nature of this album, each instrument is brilliantly handled and the songs they create are melodic masterpieces, played with a passion which clearly shows through in the delivery. Modern, futuristic metal played to the highest standard, this will probably appeal to many extreme metal fans who appreciate intelligent music and comes well recommended.
8 out of 10