(In this post, TheMadIsraeli reviews the debut album by Alabama’s ERRA.)
It should be noted that when I typed this band’s name into Google Images, I was greeted by a myriad of pictures of scorching-hot bodacious Indian babes. This band has already won brownie points.
But in all earnestness, this is the first of my request posts. At the request of Joey Harrel of Substructure (whose debut EP we review here), I checked out this band. ERRA come from odd territory for heavy music of any sort, hailing from ALA-FUCKING-BAMA. One would automatically expect this to suck, the band coming from a place I associate with rotten teeth and the stench of teen pregnancy, but in fact this shit is pretty cool, boasting an assault of energetic, progressive metalcore composed of huge melodies, big riffs, and titanic breakdowns.
This is their debut, Impulse.
“White Noise”, both the single and opener for this album, is a hard-hitting, precision-driven stage-setter of bendy riffs, huge melodic chords, and polyrhythmic attacks. It’s quite obvious that ERRA isn’t trying to be the most brutal, the most technical, or the most outstanding; they just want to play some good-ass, heavy melodic metal, brimming with energy.
Songs like “Seven” bring in some slight djent influence, but with some nice touches to keep it from falling into the doldrums of “been there, done that”, with awesome piano overlaying its mechanically precise verse. The more open melodic moments are complemented by exceptional lead work, creating enrapturing themes and motifs that prevent boredom at every turn. Other numbers such as “Vaalbara” strike chords of old school Bury Your Dead, an extremely welcome thing to hear for me.
The most notable aspect of ERRA’s sound, though, is the vocal tag-team of Garrison Lee and guitarist Jesse Cash, both boasting badass growls, roars, and shrieks, along with a proficient and note-worthy clean vocal range. Some of their vocal harmonies and vocal interplay moments are pretty astounding, and are actually the parts where ERRA really sucked me in.
This isn’t to say that the rest of the music slouches on any level, though, because the guitars of Cash and Alan Rigdon create potent melodic riffs, djenty breakdowns that cut through stone, and graceful solo’s and moments of legato-style flutter that give the music much-needed breathing room from the pounding it usually delivers. And Adam Hicks’ bass and Alex Ballew’s drums provide a crushing foundation that propel the sound ever forward.
Short review, but there isn’t much more I can say. This band make their proclamation on the opening song and never stray from it, which is not a bad thing in this case at all. If you like what you hear of the first two songs, this album is pretty much up your alley. It’s available on iTunes and Amazon mp3.