Written by: PP on 03/08/2015 23:26:06

Copenhagen newcomers Evra have been lighting up stages left and right during the last year or two while they've been simultaneously prepping for the release of their debut album "Lightbearer". It's a rather mixed affair, as stylistically the band continue to be rather all over the map as we've previously noted in numerous live reviews of their performances at various festivals and showcase events. Their self-stated objective has been to combine stoner rock and hardcore, and to an extent, that objective has been achieved on "Lightbearer", as their sound lands somewhere precisely in between the two styles, though with a heavy metalcore leaning distorting the expression considerably much.

How so? The slower sections indeed draw from the stoner rock playbook, but the vast majority of songs land safely into the chaotic world of southern fried mathcore. Bands like Every Time I Die and Cancer Bats come into mind first, although Evra channel their influence into a slower and more restrained format, no doubt a feature of their cited Black Sabbath influence. It's clear that song structure and composition has been a higher priority than just to rip it off in senseless fashion as is often the case within mathcore bands. Ironically, that's exactly what the band should have done to better their sound, which stands in direct contradiction of what normally applies in other genres of music. But as soon as you dabble with a hybrid sound that contains elements from both mathcore, metalcore, and hardcore, it's usually best just to let it loose and freight train your way into the listener's skull through frenetic energy complemented by unpredictable stop/start sequences. That's something Norma Jean were particularly fantastic at on their early albums and career-defining masterpiece "Redeemer".

This is best exemplified on "Washed Away", arguably the best track on the album. Here, melody is used sparingly throughout the song, where coarse screams and dynamic metalcore riffs dominate the landscape outside of the Dillinger Escape Plan styled semi-clean chorus melody, which balances off the chaotic verses with a melodic branch to latch onto. Similarly, "Curse Of The Moon" relies on a similarly aggressive tempo and annihilates its listener despite a few tempo variations here and there. Key to both of these songs is a memorable semi-clean passage that creates a clear separation between the heavy-duty chaos and solid melody. On too many other tracks throughout "Lightbearer", the band veer either too far into slow, doom-laden stoner melodies that feel anonymous, or into full-on core bombastics that fail to address the lack of memorable melodies. Alas, "Lightbearer" has lots of potential given the songwriting prowess on a couple of tracks, but stumbles in delivering its best shot due to far too many songs failing to leave a memorable impression. Still, southern fried core hasn't been done much better in CPH than this record, so it's a good start nonetheless.

Download: Curse Of The Moon, Washed Away, The Occultist
For the fans of: Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.08.2015
Prime Collective

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