If you’re not into modern metal, or what some painting with the broadest of brushes calls “metalcore,” you’re not going to like this. However, I am going to make like the gallon of milk I left in my car, spoil it, and let you know I do. Why do I like it, though? I’m so glad you asked.

Well, I’ve been enjoying this album so much that I frankly forgot I am supposed to review it. Throughout you’ll find nods to Lamb of God and Gojira, but the most apt comparison for me is the most recent Orbit Culture album, which I also reviewed.

The first track after a brief intro, “The Sin of Doubt,” has an immediate gallop reminiscent of Lamb of God. The vocals are very much in the same realm as Gojira’s Joe Duplantier. Perhaps more forceful. The clean vocals in the bridge are a welcome addition, showcasing vocalist Alex da Costa’s versatility. While there is a small hook here, it doesn’t set the stage quite right for what’s to come.

It would be foolish of me not to mention the bass drop at the beginning of “Parasitic.” There’s one in the last track, too. We’re certainly not talking about an Extermination Dismemberment level drop, but noticeable. The vocals, and one of the best hooks of the album is here. They take on a Randy Blythe meets Joe Duplantier quality, which sometimes make it sound as if the latter is fronting the former’s band. This is not an insult, just an observation.

While the album is slightly front-loaded, to ignore the rest of it and say it’s lower quality would be incorrect. Take for example “Vilified.” It’s shorter, relatively speaking, and it works in the track’s favor. However, the counter point immediately afterwards is the 7-plus minute “Jinn,” which is a slow burn. You get clean vocals and not much heaviness until they get harsher before 3 minutes pass. For the remainder it feels as if they’re on the verge of erupting, but it doesn’t materialize. Normally, that would be an issue for me, but it shows restraint in the songwriting department, as well as the band not conforming to convention.

The final track, “Sacrosanct,” is almost all gas pedal, though. It’s the second longest track, relying once again on a galloping riff. An excellent chorus, too. So, ultimately, if you read that back to yourself, you’re thinking all the tracks are the same. I pose, however, all tracks having an energetic galloping riff, and an excellent chorus is a compliment.

All of this was just a non-fancy way for me to tell you the album is worthy of purchase. If there’s another gripe to be had, it’s the length at over 50 minutes. It’s not as if there’s a monstrous, unnecessary 12-minute opus. Perhaps a track or so could have been cut, but I couldn’t pick it because the album never feels bloated. If you’re into modern metal in the same vein as bands mentioned above, I have a hard time believing you’ll find fault here. Enjoy this mid-year AOTY sleeper.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
August 22nd, 2023


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