Artist: Laws of Inertia
Album: Laws of Inertia
Throughout a majority of my schooling, I avoided physics like it was an angry ex-girlfriend. While I had nothing but affinity—bordering on romantic fondness—for the other sciences, physics (and it’s corollary, math) were things I always found frightening. Frightening—mostly because I completely failed to comprehend them, surrendering myself to unknowing before even giving them a proper effort. What a fool I was—If I would have known one of physics’ founding concepts, Inertia was enough to inspire the technical, groovy metalcore prodigies in Laws of Inertia, I would have taken much more interest in all the lessons ramps, pulleys and gravity had to offer. Laws of Inertia let loose with a gravity-defying, soaring debut self-titled release that combines crunchy, low-down-and-dirty heaviness with immense, over-the-top riffs and sky-high leads to create one of the most diverse and immersive albums the djent bandwagon has ever produced.
Law One: An object at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by an unbalanced force. An object in motion will continue its motion until acted upon by an unbalanced and outside force. This, the most rudimentary law of physics—also known as the Law of Inertia—is, in turn, the most rudimentary aspect of Laws of Inertia’s self-titled album. Laws of Inertia is comprised of a balance of boundless, back-breaking heaviness and cautious, calming ambience—a balance defined by dynamic and marvelous instrumentation. Tracks like the brief “Outer Darkness” and the devastating “RevivErase” are perfect examples of the band’s exuberant energy. Once these tracks are cast into motion, they refuse to slow—or stop—for anyone or anything. This is due to the wonderfully gritty and raw chugs pouring forth from the fingers of guitarist David Thomas. Especially when combined with the throat-tearing, visceral styles of vocalist Spencer Sullivan, Thomas’ gruesome, gut-wrenching chugs are hardy enough to punch through a brick wall. These portions of punishing heaviness are bridged at times by equally intense pieces of pure technical innovation—especially in “Ghostly Secrets,” where quick, jabbing breakdowns are joined to lethal, brooding slams by way of Thomas’ inventive, furious fretwork and Sullivan’s vocal prowess. These intense moments are countered, however, by ambience and emptiness—as seen in the eerie “Law I,” as well as the conclusion to “No Next Time.” These portions simply hang in the air, a dense and suffocating reprieve that are a fog so thick, it feels almost as if no force on earth could possibly move them.
Law Two: Acceleration is produced when a force greater than the mass of an object acts upon the object. As such, greater forces are needed to move more massive objects. These moments of dense, lung-filling calm that Laws of Inertia create do eventually break—as they are broken open by nothing more than the band never being afraid to get even heavier or even more technical. Just as the frigid, flawless melody defining the end of “No Next Time” seems as if it might draw the album to a subtle close, the listener is caught off guard—as “Ghostly Secrets” opens with a crushing salvo of speedy, sinister percussion and down-tuned destruction to match. For each moment that the album seems to dive too deeply into “peace and quiet,” Thomas and Sullivan know just what it takes to bring it back up to speed, restoring the ruthless, raw energy that the listener has become so addicted to.
Law Three: For every action, there is an equal—and opposite—reaction. Laws of Inertia continue on, roaming from rampaging, rib-snapping brutality to sleep-inducing calm in a perfect cycle of ebb and flow. Where “Outer Darkness” is as quick as a lightning flash and as furious as Zeus, the track that follows—“Naturom Demonto” is a balance and beautifully written anthem, a testament to Thomas and Sullivan’s songwriting ability. This sort of back-and-forth dialogue is true throughout the entire release—even if the tracks aren’t neighbors. Where “Law II” is careful, tedious in extending a floral, yet spine-withering riff, “Law III” is non-stop, unabashed energy. Laws of Inertia is a beautiful, natural album because it answers its own call—where one track seems to veer towards intense, technical deathcore, another track begins with those elements and morphs into an emotional juggernaut. The result? An album so diverse that the listener feels as though they are listening to a miniature variety show—or maybe even their own iPod on shuffle—constantly amazed that one band comprised of two people are responsible for these different tracks.
Whether you loved physics class or hated it, don’t get fooled into skipping out on the lecture that Laws of Inertia have in store. Their self-titled debut is massively heavy, limitlessly speedy and, at the risk of sounding corny, refuses to succumb to gravity, soaring miles above efforts released by the band’s peers.
For Fans Of: Sea of Trees, Volumes, Northlane, Structures, Grave of Disgrace
By: Connor Welsh