The phrase ‘technical metal’ has long since become a byword for ‘bedroom superstars who know lots of arpeggios but can’t write any songs’. Unfortunately, it is normally songs that separate good bands from rubbish ones, a fact that these Canadian hotshots have firmly grasped this time out.
Taking cues from the likes of Architects and Northlane, the quintet have managed to mould their obvious instrumental skill into something with real emotional candour and more coherent, erm, structure. Longterm fans might bemoan the lack of obvious fretboard wizardry, while the departure of vocalist Nick Xourafas (here replaced by guitarist Brendon Padjasek) admittedly makes for a less dynamic screaming style.
Getting stuck on those gripes would be to overlook the qualities of what is on offer, though – with the band lobbing in some audacious turns of pace, sweet drum grooves and heart-stirring calls-to-arms. While this change of tack places the band in a more crowded marketplace, this is more than good enough to warrant your attention.