If you are going to go on the assault you may as well do it with a merciless conviction and leave all lifeless in your wake. This is exactly what UK melodic death metalers Black Polaris do with their second album Empires. Released nationally on 5th December the quintet have again merged metalcore and death prog sounds in an unrelenting abuse of the senses but stepped up the intensity and quality from their impressive debut release This City Falls. This new album simply shatters and scatters nerve endings and synapses in a very satisfying explosion of aggressive musical prowess and power.
Formed in 2009, Black Polaris has pulverised audiences nationwide sharing stages with the likes of Martyr Defiled, Eternal Lord, This Is Colour, Eradication, Seven Year Kismet, Devil Sold His Soul. More shows in support of Empires and intrusions into Europe next year should see them take an even bigger step forward towards leaving a deep creative ‘scar’ upon metal. The band from Royston, Herts consists of Sam Burgess (vocals), Paul Futter and Gaz Groombridge (guitars), Luke Jackson (bass) and Andrew Stagg (drums), five friends that combine to brew their own unique sound from fusing varied elements from different genres. The band’s tight and uniform direction is evident with the fluidity they bring the intense attack and aggression into bed with the melodic and atmospheric progressive sounds, each member and specific piece of their music in sync to make music that intrigues and engages as it strips away the senses with determined intent.
The album starts with intro ‘Charles Bronson’, intimidating confrontational words lead in the all consuming and oppressive short virtual instrumental to open up the release and the ear for what is to come. Providing more than a hint that what ahead will be massive the opener makes way for ‘Forget’ with its destructive riffs and threatening rhythms. Veined with an addictive groove the track pulls in all the creative elements of the song from the manic intensity and aggression to the precise melodic fractures into an overwhelming unrelenting onslaught, so impressive that one wonders ifs the Geneva Convention covers this kind of stunning abuse on humanity?
The quality and perpetual aural bombardment never slips a degree throughout the album, only increases as ‘Oracle’ and the ‘Effortless’ stand upright and bold in the ear. The first is all about the riff and scathing vocals, actually it is obviously much more but these dominate and linger after the track makes way for the tsunami of energy and sound that is ‘Effortless’. Starting on a brief slow and emotive tone it soon raises the attack through stages and great varied elements. The addiction of smoother vocals alongside Burgess’ growls with dark melodies and chords make the song an adventure at every turn.
As the second of those songs is especially varied, so is the album as a whole though it might take a couple of full listens to find all of its pleasures behind the wall of incapacitating sound. The black metal harmonies of ‘Power, Corruption’ with its Chthonic edge, ‘Oblivion’ a smartly constructed song that attacks and attacks with measured deliberation, and the straighter metal groove laden ‘Mountains’ which brings many bands to mind without sounding like any of them which sounds odd but just wonderfully is, all whip up a storm in the head with distinct differences and equal effect.
Empires is a beast of an album that if you are not made of sterner stuff will leave you a wasted wreck in its powerful glory. The definite feeling that there is much more to come from Black Polaris even with this impressive release leaves one drooling in anticipation of times ahead with arguably UK’s finest deathcore band.
Black Polaris album Empires is available for free download @ http://www.mediafire.com/?hi3rvzgmthz3h0k