Polar

Shadowed By Vultures

Written by: JWM on 09/02/2014 21:27:48

Back for more with their second studio album, British hardcore underground princes Polar have released "Shadowed By Vultures". With their 2012 debut album "Iron Lungs" they showed themselves as an epitome of the aesthetics found in the modern British hardcore scene and the very new melodic hardcore sound becoming ever more present in the 2010s. That sound takes its influence from the metallic cross-over style of acts like Terror and the fast-paced, sing-along friendly sound of artists like Comeback Kid and H2O.

Bar the brief and overly dramatic introduction of "First Breath", the first three tracks featured ("Blood Lines", "Glass Cutter" & "Black Days") showcase a band that has matured significantly since the last record. While comparing the sound of "Shadowed By Vultures" to "Iron Lungs" it is apparent how much this band has grown. Their sound is far better constructed, far tighter, and the arrangements transition between melodic, almost pop-punk style hooks into violent and angry hardcore breaks with excellent ease.

However, this record proves it's not all about the cookie-cutter hardcore tunes, as "Before The Storm" features vocals from female indie pop singer Ellie Price. Her soft croons are reminiscent of many singers like Florence Welch and Elena Tonra, and are nicely guided by an escalating, emotional wall of sound 'til the point that even she shouts to remain heard. It's a powerful moment that isn't often found with artists like Polar, but it's very welcomed. The effect of this song's serenity bleeds out into the introduction of "Mountain Throne", which at first starts with an atmosphere of sadness, leading into a powerful, rabble-rousing melody.

After the title track "Shadowed By Vultures" offers perhaps the meanest breakdown of the record, you are then graced with the piano-led instrumental "Paradise", which brings the most tranquil and beautiful moment in Polar's currently short career. It's a fantastically uplifting and well composed instrumental set in minor key which softens the blows of all that has come before and all that will come. After resuming their violent rage for "Create" the albums closes with "Our Legacy", an incendiary and cataclysmic closer to the record.

"Shadowed By Vultures" on the whole is good record. These eleven tracks offer solid song writing and with songs like "Before The Storm" and "Paradise" a break of sorts is supplied to the record. But I feel these elements are heavily undervalued despite the band's ability to experiment with such ideas so well. But ultimately with the awesome melodies this band pack into their repertoire, it's no doubt Polar's live shows will be ones full of dedication and affection.

7

Download: Black Days; Before The Storm; Mountain Throne; Paradise
For The Fans Of: While She Sleeps; Feed The Rhino; Comback Kid
Listen: Polar's Facebook

Release Date 10.02.2013
In At The Deep End Records

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