Erra is easily one of my favorite metalcore bands around. The band’s two first records are great but have some flaws regarding instrumentation. Breakdowns tend to sound all the same and start blending. Some songs were not always distinctive. Since the band’s last album Drift, the group has taken a more mature approach. With new vocalist JT Carvey (ex-Texas in July) and a more clear and mature sound to the instrumentation, the band made their most melodic record yet. Now the group has announced a new album called Neon along with the first single Disarray. The band continues the progression from the last record in a significant way.
The song strikes a balance between melody, speed, and heaviness. JT starts off with mid-range screams that he did throughout the last record. The instrumentation keeps at a steady pace with a focus on technical riffs and keeping a melody throughout the song. Jesse’s cleans frequently come that complement JT’s screams.
Similar to the last record, Drift, the instrumentation shy away from breakdowns and focuses more on the technicality and melody. The band feels more rounded with this style. With more complicated instrumentation gives them an edge over many other bands in metalcore. While the first two albums are great, the breakdowns tended to sound the same. When riffs or solos came in, then those would be more enjoyable and distinctive. Based on how similar Disarray sounds to a lot of the songs from Drift, it seems that Erra has finally found their identity.
JT keeps a mid-range of screams throughout the entire song. At times he puts out a deeper scream, but for the most part, he remains with the same range. This is precisely how his debut to the band sounded with Drift. I hope to see more variety from him in the full album since he does have the ability to show a broader range. The older records from the band showed a greater range of screams from brutal lows and screeching highs.
Jesse’s clean vocals are always enjoyable. Like many metalcore bands, his vocals are a higher pitch that complements the low screams to strike a great balance. The already beautiful instrumentation also is complemented by Jesse’s melodic voice. He uses some more range than he usually does. Some power is used during the chorus while some other parts he sings more softly. The song feels more dynamic with his range along with JT and him singing back and forth.
The lyrical style of Erra has always thought and emotion provoking. The songs are in an ambiguous style that holds enough passion for getting a reaction. A lyric example from the first verse says, “The wolf kicked in the door, intruded in your home.
And you see it as a privilege to be consumed.” As always the music does not feel repetitive in any way. The song keeps my attention with a diverse set of lyrics and vocal dynamics to elevate the emotion through the song.
I am loving the new Erra direction. The band is at their most mature sound to date especially since they are progressing the song from Drift. I sure do miss some of the heavier aspects from the old music, but if a band can be focused on making themselves distinctive as an artist, then that is more important. My only concern is that I hope to hear JT use his range more throughout the album. Other than that, I have high hopes for the new record. It sounds excellent and shows growth within the band.
Neon comes out August 10, and the album can be pre-ordered below:
Image via Luis Descartes