Artist: Stray from the Path
Everyone has bands that they’re complete and total fanboys (or fangirls) of–past the point of casual fandom or lackadaisical interest, but full-fledged, balls-to-the-wall, one-hundred percent guilt-free obsession. For me, Long Island alternative hardcore band Stray from the Path meet that quota. So naturally, when a new single of theirs dropped, I was the first to pick it up, and I could probably tell you before I even listened to it, that I could love it–in my eyes, this band can do no wrong. However, despite my intense devotion to these math-meets-metal-core thrashers, “Landmines” is a track that far and away exceeded my expectations.
Starting off with a haunting, brooding ambient intro, the listener is guided into a state of dynamic consistency which is soon shattered by bi-polar guitar work, frenetic drumming and visceral, skin-peeling vocals. The track follows an established dynamic which uses talented fretwork and fast-paced, fill-laden drumming to keep the blood pumping without coming across as claustrophobic or suffocating. The real glory of the track, however, doesn’t kick in until the last 45 seconds, and vocalist Drew York absolutely kills it with the chorus-like repetition of “Are we all dying?” only to answer his own question with “No, we’re already dead.” The resulting thirty seconds of face-smashing, bone-splintering intensity is visceral and raw enough to match any of Stray from the Path’s previous material, but still provide a new, progressed feel to the music to let the listener still feel at home amongst the chaos.
For Fans Of: Rage Against the Machine, Barrier, Sworn In, Kingmaker.
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism