Album: Inch By Inch [EP]
Sometimes, it’s easy to get weighed down with the anvils, anchors, balls and chains of negativity. Even the most positive amongst us have those days–days where you don’t want to get up, face your professors, the treadmill, your parents, your impetuous phone bill–you get the drift. But often times, from such dark depths of negativity come the most driving and overwhelming positive sources. Georgian metalcore act Adelaide, and their hard-hitting EP Inch By Inch is one of those sources. A tasteful, yet inventive blending of post-hardcore melody and memory-invading hooks and groovy, technical and heavy metalcore with a touch of blood-pumping beatdown gives these Southern Slammers just enough push to break through the layer of mediocrity, while giving the listener a push through their day in the process.
It’s rare to see a band pull of a near 50/50 mix of heavy-hitting thrashing, grooving metalcore and melodic, soothing post-hardcore so convincingly. However, Inch By Inch sees Adelaide doing just that. While the first two tracks of the EP–”Louder Than the Big Bang Theory” especially–features the band’s heavier side. Focusing more on spine-snapping breakdowns and catchy, low-down-and-damn-near-filthy grooves, these tracks are mosh-friendly to say the least. Starting with the end of “Helen Keller Speechless,” Adelaide alter their dynamic ever so slightly in favor of the post-hardcore styled harmonization and clean, crooned vocals. This shift culminates album highlight “The Man Behind the Curtain is Plotting the End,” where unrelenting heaviness kicks off the track, which then morphs into grooving and oscillating bouncy sections and decidedly settling on a clean-harsh vocal dynamic while a stuttering breakdown chugs along in the background.
Adelaide’s instrumental ability itself is above par for both it’s metalcore and post-hardcore counterparts. With heavy, thrashy parts which wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a Bermuda or Betrayal album, grinding, low-tuned guitar rumbles alongside the deep, earthy bass guitar. Beneath the strings lie pounding, punctual drums which sock the listener in the gut with each rollicking fill. When the mood of the track shifts though, crooning vocals kick the growling, terse screams aside and cue the guitars to shake the dirt from the frets and soar high above the still-deep drums. The new-found ethereal quality of the guitar, coupled with the telltale swoon and piercing, uplifting drive of the clean vocals create a dynamic which amplifies the message of self-redemption and positivity the band employs so steadfastly to begin with.
Adelaide’s brilliance behind the usage of crushingly heavy breakdowns and dirty, grimey grooves contrasted with stunningly melodic hooks is twofold. Not only does it establish an effective (if not overdone) heavy-soft dynamic whose efficacy knows no bounds, but it echos the band’s cries for positive change stunningly. Inch By Inch begins by establishing a murky, limitlessly heavy feeling, which it then pulls itself out of slowly but surely–inch by inch if you will–until it reaches a balanced, dynamic and strong dialectic. “RDOWNSTAR,” the EP’s closing track is the culmination of the progress Adelaide make throughout the release, binding weightless, atmospheric sampling and instrumentation to relentlessly brutal chuggalicious sections. In the end, while the arrival to the EP’s climactic finale seems rushed (the EP as a whole feels short to begin with), Adelaide shock and awe with it nonetheless.
So next time you can’t bring yourself to walk out of the door–let alone look in the mirror or go for a jog–plug in Adelaide’s Inch By Inch. Their clever–albeit cliched–tactical use of a heavy-soft blend of metalcore and post-hardcore prove an old dog can learn new tricks, as not only is the tactic not tired, but rather it’s alive and kicking, carrying positivity and energy deep into the heart of the listener.
For Fans Of: The Ghost Inside, Of Mice and Men, Letlive., Betrayal
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism