Car Bomb - w^w^^w^w
Solid Grey Publishing
12 songs (49:56)
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Koeppe

It has been five years since 2007’s Centralia. Their debut stood out for its blend of aggression and technicality, merging the styles of mid-era Meshuggah with hardcore in the vein of Coalesce, leaning more towards the grind spectrum than the comparable Dillinger Escape Plan. News of a possible reunion circulated for years after they mysteriously dropped off the map. Hints of their sophomoric effort coming together trickled into the news without an exact release date. When a date was finally pinned on the calendar, the question shifted from whether it would ever happen to what would it sound like and whether or not it would even be interesting in light of the newest wave of Meshuggah clones, better known as djent. From if to when and now to what, did this album live up to the expectations?

If it could be said about Centralia, that the band had all the write parts but it was rather disjointed in composition, then w^w^^w^w has perfected the balance while making it more straightforward. The song lengths have increased, showing a willingness of the band to groove and bask in their complex riffs more so than their earlier two minute grinding tracks. The driving forces behind the album are deep chugging riffs, reliant upon the standard stop-go style in order to create tension in the listener. Unlike deathcore, they actually know how to write a riff and right before the chugging becomes monotonous, singer Dafferner breaks out in some epic clean vocals; clean vocals that do not aspire to the pretentions of djent. The vocals always provide a relief to the winding heaviness of the riffs like on the track Garrucha, a track that nearly reaches a previously unheard of six minutes altogether allowing the band to slice up and complicate the main riff quite a bit.

A standout track on the album is the track Third Revelation, which features Joseph Duplantier of Gojira fame performing vocals against Dafferner’s screams, as the riff synchronizes brutally with the bass drums. Joe-jira’s vocals provide an anchor in the maelstrom of fury that is the rest of the song. Following that track, the second half of the album demonstrates a willingness to experiment that the first half only hinted at. Tracks like Magic Bullet, This Will Do the Job, and The Seconds showcase the band, maintaining the original intensity while manipulating the sounds of their riffs and overall structure. Magic Bullet establishes a light segue that wouldn’t have been alien on DEP’s Ire Works. This Will Do the Job relies on an ascending sound throughout that climaxes into a climbing set off by piercing screams and mumbled lyrics. On paper, in all honesty, this formula of grinding, technical chugging shouldn’t work, yet the band’s creativity, especially in the second act, maintain a degree of newness that prevents the album from collapsing in pure monotony.

Those who enjoyed Centralia or simply love some of the bands mentioned in the opening paragraph will appreciate this album. The time off has seemed to improve the band’s song writing skills as these tracks express a mastery and comfort in their style that simply wasn't there before. A large part of metal, since their debut, has shifted towards the technical metal sound that they were initial pioneers of and for them to come out with this album in a market saturated with chugging and aggression, they really had to make themselves stand out. And they did just that. This album cemented them as an established act and not simply a novelty in the face of the possible over-exposure to their style.

If your interests have been sufficiently peaked, the entire album can be streamed on their Bandcamp.

Killing Songs :
Finish It, Third Revelation, Magic Bullet, This Will Do the Job, The Seconds
Koeppe quoted 90 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:51 pm
View and Post comments