(NCS contributor Austin Weber reviews the new album by Reflections from Minnesota.)
For me the best way to find good djent in a sea of boredom is to apply a four-fold set of criteria. Most important is to find the bands who are interesting songwriters, then look for the most unique grooves/groove patterns, followed by interesting and creative lead guitar-work, and lastly search for the bands who bring in outside influences and plenty of tempo changes to break up the mid-paced chugging. The new album Exi(s)t by Reflections satisfies all four of those criteria, and then some.
“Exit” starts off the album and lulls you into believing it’s merely an opening instrumental, until a terrifying wall of dissonant heaviness emerges in a way that’s reminiscent of The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. In fact, a liberal dose of squeals, taps, and noisiness that reflect a strong Danza influence pop up and flavor many parts of Exi(s)t. By incorporating such touches, Reflections have found a sub-niche within djent to explore, and the effect is to grace their music with a palpable ferocity that often escalates into sheer hateful peaks.