Tuesday 30 September 2014

Madrost - Into the Aquatic Sector (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Releaed: 23/9/2014
Label: Self Release

‘Into the Aquatic Sector’ CD track listing:

1). The Unknown (01:11)
2). From Beneath the Snow (05:02)
3). Universal Energy (03:13)
4). Operation: Xenomorphic Protocol (04:05)
5). The Oceanic Prelude (00:42)
6). Subterranean Nightmare (03:46)
7). Into the Aquatic Centre (03:59)
8). Depravity (05:05)

The Band:

Tanner Poppitt | Vocals/Guitar
Alejandro Pelaez | Guitar
Richard Orellana | Bass
Cesar Escobar | Drums


Among the bands in the LA metal scene few work and play harder than DIY band Madrost. They begin their latest record with a nice ambient track that plays to the science fiction aspect of the record, making for a eerie intro, giving you the feeling that evil things lurk where the journey is about to take place. The next track ‘Frozen Beneath the Snow’ starts with some straight up serious heavy riffig and power metal screams, inspired by the likes of Kai Hansen or John Cyriis open up the track. Frontman Tanner Poppitt returns to employ his raspy bark vocal style which fits the music quite well. Different elements of metal appear right from the beginning to the end of this record, blast beats, tremolo picking and thrash inspired riffs are all over the place as the band explores where it can take its sound.

The most immediately noticeable element is the development of style on behalf of the band which has resulted in a mature sound. Their last release ‘Maleficent’, featured a different line up but front man Tanner Poppitt returns and seems to have worked hard with this line up as both live and on record they are making waves.  Drumming overall on the album is fitting and confident, it can be said that the addition of Cesar Escobar behind the kit was an excellent choice for Madrost, his powerful presence and consistency speaks for itself and It seems has found the sweet spot in which his beats demand attention on every track.  Ror me his drumming was impeccable on this record.

The third track ‘Universal Energy’ features straight to the point riffing fury that Madrost listeners will be used to by now, but with an added twist, including a memorable chorus that you may find yourself singing along to. The following track ‘Operation Xenomorphic Protocol’ is my personal favorite on the record, filled with tempo changes and heavy riffs and even harmonies, this track simply just kills. The track is more on the death metal side of things and you will hear no complaints from me, however towards the end of the track I feel the record reaches its climax, a solo delivered by guitarist Alejandro Pelaez comes in, amazingly tasteful and melodic solo, joined in harmony by Frontman Tanner Poppitt's guitar which makes for an epic moment on this record. I found myself hitting rewind at least 7 or 8 times to hear it again over and over again as for that moment everything came together perfectly.

Come out of the solo and you are hit with a very Dark Angel-esque style riff, which is very awesome to hear, followed up with some Death inspired riffs too. ‘The Oceanic Prelude’ follows with a very nice soothing classical style guitar, reminiscent of Lord Belial's work in the past, which serves as an introduction to the next track ‘Subterranean Nightmare’. Again when the band is playing together and is hitting the listener with these bone crushing riffs everything is taken to a higher level of heaviness by the solid and consistent drumming of Cesar Escobar, whose double pedal work is intense and some of the best I have heard in a while from an underground band.

The end of ‘Subterranean Nightmare’ includes some very nice bass fills by Richard Orellana who's on live stage presence is top notch, Madrost brings this same intensity that you hear on record to the stage as well.

Closing out the album withInto the Aquatic Sector’, whose chorus is going to be sticking in your head for some time, it may even have you joining in with the band. The end of the track has a very Death inspired moment that is very progressive and very fitting for the moment, as the next track ‘Depravity’ starts again, with in your face death metal style riffing and blast beats which makes for a solid song to wrap up the album.

Overall ‘Into the Aquatic Sector’ is a very promising and solid album which is more proof that DIY projects are reaching a point where they are just as good as record label funded records which deserves much applause as DIY bands. Madrost is playing shows left and right in the LA metal scene and have made quite a name for themselves. On stage they are killer and will have you headbanging right along with them. Something tells me that we have not heard the best of Madrost yet, which makes me excited for what is to come.  This Line up seems to be one that has plenty of promise and talent and already delivering great material such as this latest release. Madrost have deliveredInto the Aquatic Sector’, who knows where they will take us next? I know I will be eagerly waiting for the answer. If Madrost come to a town near you, be there, you will not be disappointed.

Words by: Frank Heredia

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