Some bands leave an ever-lasting impression on you, and some albums stick with you since their conception. Shadow of the Colossus, while an incredible, life-changing video-game, is also an absolutely breathtaking band. Their last release, “End Game,” was one of the pinnacle points of my life where I found a truly unique genre of music that left a feeling of inspiration. For those yearning for something fresh, new, and exciting, look no further then Symbolik’s latest release, “Emergence.” Incorporating melo-death and tech-death elements, they play with as much ferocity as they do melody. There’s a lot to unpack in their new album, bringing a 2010-era feel with more modernistic aspects of Metal.
Vocalist Chris Blackburn brings a nostalgic voice to the table. Meshing the high screams with low growls and mixed at just the right amount to distinctly hear each one, his screams bring intricacy and show of a wide range of reach. It’s been nine years since Symbolik’s first EP, and the talent and chemistry was not lost in the many years awaiting new material. He’s got it all and compliments the ever-shifting music backing him. Guitarists Allen Burton and Damon Koenig are all over the place, from matching the notes-per-second with the wall of sound put on by drummer Brandon Clevenstine. Everyone has their respective places and everyone putting in 100% effort into every song. It’s something so familiar yet so new and fresh. “Emergence” feels like a blast from the past, the instrumentation and vocal style is unique yet untold.
“A Tyranny in Decay” shows off a more melodic aspect of the band’s repertoire, the instrumentation adding to the melody put on by the vocals. It’s diverse, but most importantly it’s phat. “In Servitude” has an orgasmic organ-introduction, feeling as though I’m traveling down an elevator before I get obliterated by the influx of blasts and screeching guitars. It’s fast, it’s technical, and it’s fierce. “Souls of Deception” is one of the heavier songs on the albums, focusing more on the fast riffing that the guitars are more than capable of handling. It’s thumping in your ears, it’s banging at your door and demanding that you get up and run. Symbolik doesn’t enter quietly, they rip your car door open and pull you out by your feet – the solidarity brought through aggression, “Souls of Deception” is a pivotal song that confines everything that the band aims to appease.
Overall, “Emergence” is going to be an album that is still talked about in the next decade. While 2020 has just started, I can see myself looking back at this album and thinking, “Damn, what an album.” It’s been playing non-stop for the past few days and has absolutely blown me away every time. What makes it even better is that, while each song stands strong individually, from front-to-back the record only grows stronger in rhythm and unity. It breaks the chains that some bands confine themselves to within the genre and it blows everything out of the water.
FFO: Fallujah, Shadow of the Colossus, AngelMaker