I’m giving this another chance because I listened to their debut and wasn’t overly keep on the end result of a stream of huge hype, the hype for this one is even more intense than the first and for that reason alone I’ve decided to try it out. With a style dubbed poetic metal and lyrics inspired from really dramatic events in the vocalist’s life fresh out of Flint, Michigan USA where from what I’ve dug up from research is the main source of inspiration due to the violence in the area (Vocalist David Gunn himself being first arrested aged 9).
Now I will start positively. The lyrics here are some of the best I have ever heard, truly you can feel the emotion and the way in which it is delivered is so poetic that it really makes you think. The negative side to this for me is the accompanying instrumental elements that just don’t do anything for me. I understand with the style that there is a call for less instrumental input however I think it could use more, live I can imagine this is phenomenal stuff and really explosive but to listen to on record I just can’t seem to get myself energised. As time goes on I find that songs like the assertive “Alpha & Omega” and the eerie “A Conversation With God” have broken me and I’ve started to really start to enjoy the record; then following I grew to love “Give My People Back”, “The Trauma Model”, “War Time” and my absolute favourite from the album “I Ain’t Goin’ Back Again” which really ties together the rock influence into older styles such as blues, with heartfelt emotion.
Certainly this album has been an experience for me as it has changed my perception of who these guys are and what they’re accomplishing, it’s a very unexpected combination of styles and content which is hard to find in this day and age, the facts its gathering such a cult following is so refreshing to see. Whilst I doubt I will find this album a regular player in my daily life I feel it will make a strong presence when the mood strikes, very interested to see what they achieve in the years to come.
Review by James Webb