27 Nov 2020 - Thorsten
Djenty-Progressive-Rock | Release date: 27 Nov 2020
Flashback to the beginning of the new millenium, when Djent was not a musical genre but merely a way of playing and when progressive rock acts were harsher than the stuff our fathers listened to.
There was a time when bands like Amplifier, Dredg and Oceansize were the latest shit in modern alternative music. When djent was not something you found on too many metal albums, when it was hip to be different but not to overthink stuff. These bands had something about their sound that set them apart and that something was often their use of drums and synths.
A few hours ago, a friend of mine told me about a band I should check out and he mentioned Dredg and Oceansize as references. Of course that immediately ignited my interest and man, I was not disappointed. This record really is a reminiscence why this kind of alternative hardcore was so interesting. Connect is the third release by this Indian band and their first after a longer break since 2015.
The drums are very poignant and poly-rhythmic, able to set real highlights into the tight-knit web of sound. The spherical synth elements are very well-set and round out a really remarkable listening experience. The guitars are crisp and with just the right amount of hall to turn some simple pickings into nice shortly meandering spaces. The only thing that one might point out negatively are the vocals as they sometimes are a bit too simple.
To give you an example for this really well-constructed I want to point out the final track “Northern Lights” which has a very nice picking intro with a simple synth-space growing out of it. Both things might remind some people of Stabbing Westward and Catch Without Arms-period Dredg and when the guitar starts its little riff it completely changes the track. The drums set in and the song turns into an Alternative monster with a djenty guitar with the triplet notes in the middle making it even more interesting.
At the other end of the record we have the opening track “Hide” with all its rhythmic elements working with and simultaneously against each other. The vocals of this track are quite fitting for the band but sometimes they could break out more, become more dominant. Dredg songs were always even bigger with the vocals, here the vocals are good but don’t evolve the songs any further.
I must point out something: This might not be a one-to-one-copy of the old classics like Oceansize or Circa Survive but it is an evolutionary step as it incorporates new elements taken from bands like TesseracT. The tracks on Connect flow effortlessly into each other although they are clearly marked off from the next one, but nevertheless the record has the same flow as records by these stalwarts mentioned above. The guys might be the next big thing in alternative, progressive metal, so keep an eye open if you like crescendo-driven, hall-laden emotional guitar lines.