The album wastes virtually no time at all getting underway with “Untainted” and immediately we’re met with the guttural growls of Edstrom and Tropp, while by stark contrast the guitars here meander through your ears with melody and grace…the combination of beauty and breakdowns a staple of Scandinavian melodic death metal and that’s utilised well here, however abrupt it may be. “Avalanche” follows up and keeps momentum going but does introduce subtle clean vocals (Albeit sparsely) alongside a few well-placed hooks and some catchy chord progression to give the track more of a feeling of accessibility. Speaking of accessibility, both “Identity” and “Harbor” take us down increasingly more mainstream directions…the former has an instant early 00’s post-hardcore feel, like we’re listening to a band from the old Victory Records roster (Think BAYSIDE or HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS) before the latter then surprises everyone with a feisty little acoustic ballad, leading into a classic, 80’s influenced guitar driven crescendo; it really is a wonderful little track.
Elsewhere “Oblivion” capitalises on the use of gang-vocals and a hook-laden chorus to further push for a more accessible sound amidst the mauling, before closing track “Charon” opts for an emotive piano ballad to round things off, tip-toeing around the risk of becoming completely emo…had it not been for the deathly growls seemingly possessing the track halfway through…do they save the track or spoil it? You be the judge. Such ferocity does work however on the brief but brutal “Fountain Of Youth” and the groove heavy “The Eternal Fight”, but lead single “Ignite” is a touch generic and disappointing, with its fade-out serving little to no benefit. Ultimately despite some huge promise, this sounds like a band who despite the quality and confidence to deliver a decent album, haven’t 100% decided what album they actually want to deliver, or at the very least are unsure of their preferred market. There’s stuff here taken from a fair selection of alternative influences…and while an enjoyable listen, sometimes it feels they’re unsure which way to go in terms of committing to a sound, not to suggest a band must stick to one style, more so to provide consistency but, on this evidence, wherever it is they’re heading, they’ll get there...and they probably wont take long.