ALBUM REVIEW: ERRA – ERRA
Photo Credit: Aaron Marsh
ERRA is a band that have seriously put the time in. The quintet have been consistently putting out solid slabs of progressive metalcore music, without ever pushing themselves to the front of the crowd. The band have clearly taken stock of what does well and have streamlined their sound to make things a lot more digestible. This is not to say that they have diluted their overall sound to an unrecognisable degree, but they have harnessed their strength and the result is their most captivating release to date. A self-titled, twelve-track album that could not be more apt, given that the main theme running through this record is one of self-reflection.
The opening of the lead single Snowblood is a clear indication of where ERRA are heading musically. This is engaging, technical metalcore music that forces you to pay attention. The constantly shifting tempos and rhythmic patterns, coupled with the insanely complex guitar lines, have been a staple of the band’s sound from the very beginning; but this is the most focused and devastatingly precise ERRA have ever sounded. The inclusion of a colossal hook, a mind-bending solo and a ludicrously heavy breakdown make sure that the opener serves its purpose, in appeasing their longstanding fans and enticing the new listeners.
The following two tracks, Gungrave and Divisionary, keep the party going with plenty off headbanging, pit spinning moments and ridiculously catchy vocal hooks from guitarist/clean singer Jesse Cash. The rhythm section of ERRA is arguably their most underrated weapon, but when bassist Conor Hesse and drummer Alex Ballew link up like they do for the groovy, bouncy verse on the latter track, it’s going to be a sure fire hit when crowds can flock back into venues.
Shadow Autonomous was chosen as one of the lead singles prior to the release of the album and it’s clear to see why. The track contains all the hallmarks of the ERRA sound. The heavier sections hit like a sledgehammer to the temple and the melodic sections tend to your wounds, which leave you wanting to come back to more. It is that constant yin and yang that has made people from every corner of the metal world take notice of ERRA, particularly in the way they blend it all together in such a careful and well thought out way. Although the impressive vocal range of Cash takes centre stage for the most part here, it must be said that the intricate drum patterns and changes of tempo and urgency keeps things feeling unpredictable and exciting.
In the latter stages of the album we find one of the hidden gems with Eidolon, a track that takes the progressive leanings of the band and dials them up to eleven. The echoed, clean guitars at the start, coupled with a distorted bassline, builds towards a thumping heavy section and then into an August Burns Red inspired sonic assault. The track proves once more just how talented each member of the band are at their chosen craft, coming together to create a song that is as staggering from the musical scholars as it is enjoyable to those who simply want to enjoy it for what it is. A bloody good heavy song.
With the headlines crowning Architects as the new kings over the progressive metalcore kingdom as of late, with this release we may well see the outfit that are more likely than anyone else to usurp them for their throne. ERRA‘s self-titled album is a superb release, the culmination of over a decade of fine tuning and reworking of an already impressive band’s sound. This is a coming of age for ERRA and it has garnered other world results. Expect to see this album on plenty of top ten lists come the end of this year.
Standout Tracks: Divisionary, Scorpion Harlem, Eidolon
For Fans Of: Architects, Northlane, After The Burial
Written by: Richard Webb