Album: Time Lapse
Time is a curious thing. I didn’t really believe when people said stuff like that when I was young—when you’re still in high school or even undergrad, it seems like the only thing you really have is time. But before you know it, on go the cap and gown–you’ve graduated! Perhaps even earned a day of celebration out of all your hard work; but the next day it feels as if a blindfold is tied across your temples and by the time you take it off, four years have passed—four more years spent studying, working, doing nothing; take your pick—but it’s four years gone. You get enough time to slack your jaw and lose your breath at the prospect before, all of the sudden, the blindfold is back on and you find yourself struggling again to loosen it.
And life continues this way—for a long time, it continues this way.
Unless, of course, you immerse yourself in the latest full length release by Australian progressive metal core outfitBayharbour. Aptly titled, Time Lapse uses engaging grooves and mesmerizing hooks to make the listener lose all sense of times—and perhaps even giving them the power to strip themselves of modern society’s blinders and actually enjoy the life they have. Filled with a smorgasbord of skull-splintering aggression and awe-inspiring melody both, Time Lapse is Bayharbour creating an album that may be truly timeless.
After spending a scant few seconds providing the listener with the illusion of calm, Time Lapse almost immediately leaps into an explosive, vivid and voracious display energetic, groove-laden aggression. Percussionist Nat Patterson leads the charge with drumming bombastic enough to reduce mountains to rubble. Defined by a deep, booming kick drum and a full, thick sounding snare, his solid, snappy footwork on “Cancerous” or “Gravemind” provides a foundation for devastating heaviness—while his technically immaculate fills and oddly-timed patterns on “Zenosyne” or “Life in the Clouds” sees him working brilliantly to create something intricate and fluid. However intricate or purely intimidating his percussion, Patterson works hand-in-hand with bassist Ryan Oxford to provide a comprehensive low end that gives every track a sturdy platform from which to blossom. “Cancerous” starts this off, and the trend continues through the last ringing seconds of “The Architect.” Even during the more mellow moments of the titular track, or during the transitional ending of “Fading Away,” Oxford and Patterson remain closely linked, carefully working together to give guitarists Thomas Bryden and Marcus Parente more than enough to work with. Bryden and Parente take the ebb and flow of energy and floral, soft decay provided by Patterson and make it a three-dimensional display of progressive metalcore mastery. There seems to be very little limit to how far or how smoothly these two go to create the unique displays of uncanny beauty prevalent on Bayharbour’s latest album. Every track sees Bryden and Parente combining groovy, well-written and dynamic leads with moments of pulverizing aggression. “Gravemind” and “Oathbreaker” does this better than most—just as the choruses to “Time Lapse” and “Stargazing” are melodic and moving despite the moments of jarring brutality that surround them.
While Bryden and Parente are no doubt much of the reason moments like the sharp transition into the scintillating choruses of “Time Lapse” and “Stargazing” stand out, a majority of that has to go to the dynamic brilliance of frontman Jay Sibthorpe—assisted by percussionist Patterson. Moments like the chorus of “Stargazing” are examples of why contemporary and progressive metalcore is far from a “played-out” genre; as nothing has gotten stuck in my head so easily in months. Where the cleanly sung portions of the aforementioned songs are stunning, they are stunning in great part to the crushing contrast from Sibthorpe’s deep, gruff bellows. “Gravemind” shows off his low, ferocious range brilliantly, while “Cancerous” and “The Architect” are more dynamic displays of his range. What’s more? Every moment of Sibthorpe’s stunning vocal prowess is bolstered by lyrical competence worth his weight in gold. More than contrived lyrics about space and existence, Sibthorpe sheds his soul to the listener, providing introspection more true than one might expect from an emotional hardcore act—let alone a progressively-inclined metalcore group.
Every second of Time Lapse is so beautiful, it makes the listener wish they could pause time and enjoy it on repeat. Bayharbour are brutal and beautiful—and they do it in far from a contrived manner. Sounding something like a distilled and amplified Northlane infused with the catchiness and bounce of a band like Volumes, Time Lapse is difficult to describe in reference to another band’s sound—because Bayharbour have surely forged their own. Do yourself a favor: shed the blindfold, rid yourself of the distractions of daily living for forty five minutes—probably less time than your nightly TV show—and immerse yourself in Time Lapse. You’ll thank me—and Bayharbour—later.
For Fans Of: Northlane, Volumes, Misery Signals, I Killed the Prom Queen
By: Connor Welsh