Thursday, 16 August 2012

Review: Carcer City - The Road Journals

 I've recently become something of a music scrounger, bagging up any chance there is for me to download any albums that are intended to be free for free. And the idea of giving away album's for free at a stage in any band's career is something that one can easily get behind. While it may baffle some artists to not make any money from what they do, album giveaways are a great way to attract a wider fanbase from those on the stingier side that don't want to throw their money straight away (me) and shows that a band really care about the music, to the extent that money doesn't need to be made from it. It's for this reason that these free albums actually have a tendency to be brilliant. Such as today's offering, The Road Journals, the debut offering from scouse metal quintet Carcer City.

 It's no secret that as the year has gone on, there's been a great influx in bands, specifically British bands that have been doing their part to make the genre of metalcore an overall genre of respectability again and take it from the hands of the American bands with stylish fringes and permanent fixtures on the Warped Tour lineup. Even the likes of Bury Tomorrow have stated their mission to be to take the genre name and make it not a title of scorn anymore. And Carcer City prove themselves to be another worthy band of such a reputation and such a cause. With The Road Journals, metalcore becomes genuinely heavy once again.

 As the full band effort crashes into action on Lifeless, Awaken, the levels of urgency and full frontal passion in their performance simply slams through the roof as the full band effort carries a sense of gritty ambition that makes their efforts feel more real and intense than any sort that other recent metalcore acts have achieved.

 It goes without saying that this is what makes up the main basis of the album and that Carcer City always sound epic when they're doing it. The Constant and Mistakes I Have to Live With are packed with the density in their furious breakdowns and frenetic bursts of pure metallic riffage from Lewis Hughes and Owen Randles that no Bury Your Dead fan could possibly pass up, while the kinetic drumming of Ollie Graham serves as an unending fixture of chaos in the band's course of action. In the best possible way.

 There is time for melody as well on The Road Journals. It's a little more subtle than the ability that Bury Tomorrow have to unleash massive choruses that sound genuinely absorbing, as opposed to an auto-tuned emo pop chorus. But smoother, more solidly written moments are discovered on the beauty of Distance and If We Make It Home, and it takes solidly attentive ears to truly pick up on  the beauty and wide emotion the band pack into the performance of these songs. You can find this extra amount of ambition in the emotion of the storming piano aided title track and the well arranged Ghosts trilogy, the kind of songwriting that surpasses the metalcore standard, surely.

 With metalcore becoming a genre once more deserving of proper recognition, there's an unpredictability existing in much of the new music coming from the new bands. And with The Road Journals mixing real brutality with real emotion and real songwriting, Carcer City have nailed this notion right on the head. With this album, you're in for a bumpy ride of massive breakdowns with a perfect tightness that the heaviness seams out of, and each song will bring a new layer of freshness and grandeur to the road on which you travel as a listener. Basically, if something is lying in front of you for free, just snatch it up. There's a good chance it could be of quality like this.

Carcer City's The Road Journals is out now via Self-Release. The band will play the O2 Academy Liverpool on 25th with Malefice, Silent Screams and Oceanis.

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