Hi there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you’ve had a 2020 that has been as great and exciting as mine so far! So many cool gi- OK, too soon, I’m sorry. All joking aside, it’s been half a year since my last review and we all know why, so I’ll spare you the details. What I do want to tell you about though, is a coping mechanism that I sometimes use when I’m in a bad mood or a shitty general situation: nostalgia! It’s a really powerful tool to blend out reality for a little while and think back to better days, and in today’s case I want to take you back to the mid-2000s; a time when most of nu metal was slowly dying out and metalcore as we know it today became more widespread. There was a very brief period where some bands emerged that were walking the slippery slope between those two genres and today’s band reminds me of those times. The local band Atomic Rocket Seeders is about to release its self-titled debut in just two days, so I figured I’d give you a first look a bit ahead of time!
As I mentioned in the intro, the trio brings elements of nu metal and of metalcore to the table, but please don’t assume that this is an uninspired copy of those times. Because they also infuse a massive dose of groove and some progressive elements to the mix, that elevate the sound scape to a different level but, at least to me, manage to maintain enough nostalgic elements at all times.
Another fact that certainly helps is the strong musicianship that can be found during these forty-three minutes, especially the guitar department has some really tasty riffage that was clearly written for the headbangers in the crowd. The rhythm section, however, is also not to be underestimated, with the bassist building a solid sonic base, whereas the drummer seems to really love his double bass pedal and delivers a great performance with it.
The songwriting, or rather the arrangement, is something that I also found quite remarkable during nine of these ten songs. There are usually around ten different ideas floating around during a typical song, yet they never feel disjointed and always create a really enjoyable aural experience. Kudos! I am consciously omitting the last song from that compliment since it’s a cover song, that follows the original quite closely…and despite it being a really good performance, I don’t exactly get the choice of Tears For Fears‘ song Mad World to be the closer. I mean…it goes with the times, I guess?
The final, and arguably my favorite, element are the vocals. The vocalist has that distinctive fry scream that puts me back in my very early twenties, and then switches flawlessly into cleans for a few lines, only to transition to growls! The entire album is also chock-full with vocal melodies that you’ll be able to sing along to after your second listen at the latest. Lyrically, this debut also moves in interesting territories and well-written lines; safe for the eighth track, I Know You’re Waiting For, which is luckily mostly instrumental.
All in all, the Atomic Rocket Seeders have come forth with a very strong first record that, despite a few minor flaws, will certainly, and I’m way too proud of that one, kick your ARSe! You know the drill: check out the song below and if you like what you hear head over to the band’s Facebook page. Obviously there won’t be a proper release show, so try to support the artists if you can by streaming or buying the record when it drops on October 30th! Read you sooner or later, maybe?