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Album Year: 2012
Genre: Progressive / Groove Metal
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Fasten your seatbelts boys and girls; this release is a doozy. What a mix of genres we’ve got going on here. Altercation’s self-proclaimed “primal” metal style is a mix of aggressive, avant-garde guitar soloing, heavy rhythm grooves, maniacal drum fills and blast beats, cacophonous vocal lows and a unique style of blending all these forms together to create a mind-numbing explosion of heavy metal music to the listener’s ears. This 9 track LP will absolutely kick your pussy-footin’ ass. If you are a squeamish or hesitant person, this album is not for you.
The band opens with the title track and deceives the listener. You may think from this intro that you’re gearing up to listen to a generic deathcore album, until “Falling Down” comes in and hits you in the face with a metal mac-truck. Right away you get a sense for their thrash metal and heavy metal influences. The song moves forward with textures of well-mixed lead guitars over heavy grooves and insane drum fills. You also get a sense of nu-metal influence from the vocalist’s spoken word vocal style that continues to appear throughout that album. This combination basically follows throughout the form of the rest of the album, of course also including the more than occasional guitar solo and breakdown pattern.
Each song offers different elements of heavy to the listener. Tracks like “Pyrogasm” and “Lost Cause” offer insane vocal textures that display vocalist/guitarist Ralph Lee’s insane range. His lows are just incredibly hard-hitting, while his highs remind me of the rawness of Frankie Palmeri’s (vocalist of Emmure) highs combined with the power and ferocity of Winston McCall’s (vocalist of Parkway Drive) vocal style. “Lost Cause”, “Jewbaca” and “Seyfert Peregrination” show the bands more progressive and melodic side, creating textures that thrive on the guitarists soloing and creative riff making abilities. Drummer Kori Harvey absolutely steals the show; his constant mixes of beat-down and groove progressions that bridge into killer fills are just incredible. There’s not a song on the album that doesn’t highlight Harvey’s musical ability. Also, his snare and ride cymbal bell tones are spot on.
The best way for someone to enjoy this album is to just dive right into it with a full play through. The album gets better and better throughout its duration and also evokes more and more pleasure with each listen. If you’re a fan of metal, I don’t see how you cannot like at least one track on this album. I expect big things from these gentlemen.
For Fans of: Whitechapel, Veil of Maya, Carnifex, I Declare War, What Once Was, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza