Tetrarch’s Unstable is the nu metal album 2021 needs

The second album from rising Atlanta stars Tetrarch updates the best bits of nu metal – and leaves the dodgy rapping behind

Tetrarch - Unstable
(Image: © Napalm)

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The imminent rebirth of nu metal has been predicted for five years. In that time, everyone from Vein and Northlane to Blood Youth, Ocean Grove and Loathe have taken inspiration from the subgenre’s swaggering spirit. But it’s only in the past few months that a crop of young revivalists has emerged looking to put a brand-new spin on the music of their formative years.

Of them all, it’s Atlanta’s Tetrarch who look most likely to break out as the NWONM’s (Nu Wave Of Nu Metal) leading superstars. Unstable, their second album, is a highly polished and proficient affair, containing all the ingredients that made nu metal such a force the first time around: bouncing riffs and the kind of instantly memorable choruses that will make venues explode into sweaty, limb-flailing chaos.

There’s no dodgy rapping this time around, but Unstable is angsted up to the eyeballs. ‘Looking in the mirror and I hate myself,’ vocalist and guitarist Josh Fore rasps on opener, I’m Not Right, before the track bursts into an onslaught of monstrous grooves and a massive, Linkin Park-esque chorus that takes us right back to 2000 and hating on our parents.

You Never Listen and Stitch Me Up seethe with creepy, Korn-style guitars, but elsewhere Tetrarch tweak the template with a refreshing vim. The ripping solos from future guitar hero in waiting Diamond Rowe take their cues from Kirk Hammett and Mark Morton rather than Brian ‘Head’ Welch or Brad Delson. The furious title track and Negative Noise are an evolution of the band’s thrash beginnings, while Addicted pulls from pure metalcore anthemia. No doubt, Unstable sometimes veers a little close to homage, but it’s executed with confidence and energy that elevates it way beyond a slavish throwback.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.