Artist: Flat Earth Society
Album: Friends are Temporary, Ego is Forever
Author: Audhinn Pelletier
When it comes to music, there is always the search for something new and exciting. Hearing different bands using the same formula can be entertaining, but when bands take concepts and add texture and crisp, complicated time signatures to the stale bread of certain genres, that’s a band you want to hold onto. Not only do some bands understand how to hook an audience, but bands like Flat Earth Society know how to hook their listeners by name alone. Naming anything is the hardest decision in the world; it is your brand, it is your entire identity, and for some people, it’s how you’re going to be remembered for the rest of your life. In the case of Flat Earth Society, why not make people get mad at your name so they can then, instead, listen to your music and get mad at how good you are? There has always been the successful idea of making people feel one way to get a completely different reaction out of them. Having a non-serious name and creating some seriously heavy music is the perfect marketing strategy. The listener has no expectations, no real idea what to anticipate when they click the “play” button, and yet upon doing so, they’re sure to accumulate any new fans with their latest release, “Friends are Temporary, Ego is Forever,” especially on today, their release day!
“Friends are Tempory, Ego is Forever” can be interpreted as a true statement within the cynical mindset. Friendships aren’t always meant to last forever; sometimes you grow with individuals, sometimes you have life-long and heartfelt relationships with them, and other times you want to dropkick Murphy. Regardless, the ideation of ego as eternal creates a spiral of considering oneself as higher than others. Ego, from the Freudian perspective, represents the reality of all situations. Regarding friendships and ego, reality is always going to last longer than friendships, as humans wither away over time. A healthy Ego is one that does not conform to the Id’s demands of satisfaction or the Superego’s potential regression to the behaviors learned by parents or external forces. Essentially, to cut things down a bit, the Ego is trying to not make friends temporary, but inevitably it can only do so much.
The album clocks in at about 30 minutes, but every second is dripping with punchy bass, fat bass, and girthy guitar work. Drummer Alex Castro absolutely annihilates the drum kit with off-time snare misses and gut-twisting patterns that make me go cross-eyed. Trying to count the number of complex riffs and drums in the short span of time this album takes makes me queasy; upon the first listen, I honestly anticipated them to be a regular Progessive Metalcore band, but the violence embedded in songs like “Danko” and “Tortuga” made me eat my words. Flat Earth Society is here to let you know that they’re not messing around, especially not with their tortugas. “Friends are Temporary” has a great balance between absolute demolition and taking a step back to breathe; there are never times where the heaviness becomes dense, there are never cadences that sound overplayed or generic, and the chemistry within the band is impressive. The sludgey bass and melancholic clean singing coming from Jesús Espinosa adds a layer of freshness to the sound, while the vocal-shattering screams of Daniel Correa set this band apart from stereotypical Progressive Metalcore bands. The real shining star of Flat Earth Society is their guitarist, Carlos Gonzalez-Aller. While the entire band is required to make the unique sound that they have, Carlos truly adds a different depth of sound with his style of playing. It’s a mixture of August Burns Red and Tesseract – nothing too flashy yet still impressive to listen to. Songs like “Legfist” and “Tortuga” really emphasize how impressive this man is at the guitar. He hops all over the place on the fretboard, incorporating nearly every fret of every string.
Overall, “Friends are Temporary, Ego is Forever” was a great listen. Upon the first listen, I didn’t pick up much and thought I was ready to write my review about it. However, after listening some more to it, there is so much here for every listener out there. There are sorrowful melodies, disgusting drum fills and crunchy guitar parts that will blow you away. The rhythmical patterns are out of this world and it incorporates everything that makes Progressive Metalcore absolutely wonderful. Make sure you stream the album, and happy release day, boys!