Artist: Arms For Elephants
Album: My Judas Scene
When you think post-hardcore, what comes to mind? Is it energetic, angst-ridden lyrics? Is it the heavy, yet somehow pop-influenced nature of the music? Perhaps it’s driving rhythm sections and soaring melodies? Well, few bands out there have done it right over the past few years. I’m here to tell you that Minnesota’s Arms For Elephants has all of that and more. One of the first bands I’ve seen with a truly original sound in the genre in years, their music is relatable, is heavy when it needs to be and, most of all, you’ll find it stuck in your head for days! Their debut album My Judas Scene is, quite honestly, an album that took me some time to get into. After all, with all of the bands releasing music in the genre these days, you expect a cookie-cutter sound right off the bat, am I right? That’s why I was completely taken aback to learn that they are anything but! My Judas Scene is an album that I could see being extremely popular in the mid 00s when post-hardcore/metalcore was really on top. It has a nostalgic feel to it, heralding back to the days when we saw bands like A Skylit Drive, Thursday and A Bullet For Pretty Boy at the top of their game.
The thing about this album is that it finds a way to keep you interested and stay relevant during a time where the genre has been overrun by autotune, electronics and the same old boring breakdowns. The dynamic between primary vocalist Matt Evans and guitarist/vocalist Fletch Archerd is absolutely breathtaking. Especially when you have songs like “In Memory,” which touch on the subject of loss and are meant to really pull at the listener’s heart strings. The layers on top of it, especially in that song, make it truly stand out. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was how heavy this band can be. The first time the opening to “In Faith and Doubt” hit me… I had to double check that I was still listening to the same band! It just goes to show how diverse a band can be, ranging from the subtle nuances of a ballad to full-blown aggression in a split second. Within that same song, though, they can take it down to a more alternative rock level, changing up the pace and really throwing the listener for a loop. One of my favorite tracks on the album is “O, Complacent Heart” because it’s incredibly melodic but still has an edge. What you might not realize at first, though, is that this track has strong religious overtones to it. This track has an amazing solo and when Evans screams out “Where’s your anger? Where’s your urgency?,” as Archerd is heard in the background singing “when all I fear is you, what can man do to me?” I get chills every time. This is a song about finding your sense of purpose, being at your worst but realizing that there is always God standing right there with you. They’re letting you know that as long as you are a god-fearing person, you can get through anything that life throws at you.
I’m not going to sit here and say that this album is perfect. After all, it is a debut. It’s still very pristine and naive but it has the band well on their way. There’s plenty of variety, a ton of replay value and a message to take away from each song. If this review has you intrigued, do yourself a favor and go pick up your copy of My Judas Scene out now, using the links below! Check out the lyric video for “The Laws That Guide My Feet” below for a taste.
“The Laws That Guide My Feet” (Official Lyric Video)
Buy My Judas Scene