With a sound delivering a punch as rich and inescapable as that of the heart and lyrical confrontation it surrounds, the self-titled debut album from US post hardcore outfit Hostile Array s one striking and impressive introduction. That forceful, indeed imposing attack though comes in layers of enterprise and imagination which equally enticed and ignited an always searching appetite for fresh, exciting, and individual.
Emerging in the initial weeks of 2017, Maryland hailing Hostile Array have already hinted at the potential of the album and gave a rich taster of their sound through a couple of singles. Their music is tagged as post hardcore but has real depth and adventure to its character embracing an array of metal and punk spices alongside inspirations cited as including Underoath, Norma Jean, Silent Planet, and Architects. Consisting of Brendan Frey, Garrison Frey, Hector Fernandez, Fredy Menjivar, and Andrew Markle, the band also has a ferocious lyrical intent and touch, songs getting their claws into political and social issues, corruptions, and ill-doings.
The album opens up with the outstanding Herd Instinct, the track one of those first couple of singles luring keen attention. Sonic intrusion and rhythmic baiting opens its tempting, a great grumbling bass soon in tandem with fury fuelled throat rasping vocals. Quickly though there is imaginative hints licking at ears, blossoming with melodic enticement and wicked hooks as the roar continues to harass air and social mentality. It is a cauldron which continues to evolve, metal bred textures coursing hardcore irritability; invention escalated by the potent landscape of clean and raw vocal dexterity.
Bastardized follows with its own ferocious incursion, snarling and blistering the senses from its first breath before sharing a more nu-metal natured breath with a touch of bands like Spineshank to it. Snapping and jabbing at ears, the track springs toxic contagion and intense discontent within an atmospheric melody stranded weave; seducing whilst preying on the listener before Wiretap uncages its own ferocious animus with instinctive catchiness and melodic suggestion at its core. There is a whiff of Deftones meets Architects to its growing body but to be honest as all hints offered to tracks, the Hostile Array sound absorbs and turns all in its own individuality.
Next up Devoid brawls and hollers within atmospheric smog next, it’s calm but portentous climate an emotive glaze to an inner volatile frustration while Migrant Myth is a net of metallic wiring around a blaze of unbridled displeasure. Both tracks invigorate their already resourceful landscapes with tenaciously adventurous twists and turns spun from unpredictable and contrasting textures. The second of the two is immense, too short but a thrilling trespass of persuasive enterprise igniting the passions for the following sonic and melodic fire of Newspeak; a track quickly burying itself in ears with emotional intensity and melodies as descriptive as the words they colour.
New single Warmonger is next, looming up from a distance with the animosity and skilled dexterity its title suggests. The throaty grumble of the bass and the composed bone splitting swings of beats incite the sonic flames and vocal voracity which climbs their irritability; they in turn like accelerant sparking melodic shimmers into senses broiling, emotionally burning flames.
Viciousness and tempting contagion shape up Calloused, it as body inspiring infectious as it is vocally and lyrically scathing with a tapestry of flavours and invention to accentuate both aspects. The song flows straight into the waiting jaws and feuding tendrils of Bluebird, it an equally accomplished and magnetic patchwork of ire led emotions and flavours woven into one fluid and riveting trespass.
Final track Disillusioned is a pyre of punk and metal malcontent and emotional grievance within a skilled bedlam of imagination and ferocity. It is a powerful striking last attack in a charge of nothing but; a truly memorable departure demanding a swift return to the album to face, endure, and thrill at its creative challenge and vendetta on world ills. There have not been too many post hardcore bred releases which have truly fired us up in the past couple of years but Hostile Array have not only provided such a treat but one which deserves to be considered as the best of the lot.
The Hostile Array album is released June 1st, available @ https://hostilearray.bandcamp.com/album/hostile-array
Pete RingMaster 29/05/2018
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