Over the summer, my buddy Tom at FiXT Publicity turned me onto progressive metalcore band ERRA (thanks, Tom!). He told me to check them out and if see if I wanted to attend their live show in a few weeks. Well, I did and I did. I wound up thoroughly enjoying last album Impulse and live they were something else. I finally got my hands on newest record Augment via Tragic Hero Records (thanks, Jesea!) and This Just In: it’s even better than its predecessor!! The guttural growls and clean vocals are much more balanced, the riffs are razor-sharp, and it really sounds like a band making big strides.
“Alpha Seed” is definitely one of the best opening songs I’ve heard so far this year, Garrison Lee sounding like he swallowed a jar of nails and guitarist/clean vocalist Jesse Cash providing the yin to Lee’s yang all while delivering stop and go riffs with Alan Rigdon. “Pulse” just comes in and doesn’t let up for a second, and the breakdown is really something special. On “Dreamwalkers” the guitarists employ an off-beat harmony to start things off before Lee comes in like Godzilla paying Tokyo a visit and wreaking havoc with every line. This one definitely benefits from the newfound balance I mentioned earlier. All this greatness and we’ve barely begun!
“Frostbite” is easily one of the best songs, and will surely kill live. The off-times will keep even the most seasoned players guessing, too. Another instant favorite is “Hybrid Earth”, the music sounding like two titans locked in combat, throwing bolts of lightning at one another, destroying everything around them. Jesse is featured prominently on “Rebirth” and he pretty much steals the show here. The guy is such an amazing talent it’s scary. There’s a soft start to “Ultraviolet” that slowly builds up into the all-out attack before pulling back at select times and it really adds something to the mix. You’ll find arguably the best solo on the album here as well.
One of the most melodic tunes is “Spirits Away”, and that’s part of the evolution of this band. They have branched out and tried some new things with their arrangements and tone, but not at the expense of their signature sound. This one really caught me off guard, in a good way, and I’m curious to hear it in a live setting. I don’t even know where to begin with “Prometheus”. Monster isn’t the right word, ass-kicking doesn’t do it justice, so I’m pretty much at a loss for the best description. Let’s just say it’s fucking awesome and leave it at that, ok? “Crimson” is another extra base hit for Team ERRA, and then, out of nowhere, title track “Augment” comes along; a pretty little moment of quiet on an otherwise loud and ferocious record. Hmmm, nice one, guys.
This seeps right into closer “Dementia”, the most ambitious track on Augment. It’s like the previous songs were all leading us here, to this place, where everything comes together in a swirling vortex of growls, cleans, delays, and one hell of a finale. Clocking in at 7:35, it features some of the finest guitar work on the record coupled with Jesse really reaching new heights vocally, and then, peaceful serenity for a few moments before those same guitars lead us home. I don’t know exactly where it is that ERRA took us for the last 53 minutes, but I DO know that I want to go back there ASAP.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM