REVIEW: Sirena – The Uncertainty of Meaning (EP/2013)


Artist: Sirena

Album: The Uncertainty of Meaning


All of the sudden, it strikes. A resonance more penetrating than a gunshot, a boom more chaotic than ten thousand neutron bombs and a crack more sickening than the splintering of every bone in your body; Sirena attack. The Uncertainty of Meaning, the band’s latest release is anything but uncertain. This talented New Jersey band clash abrasive, grating metalcore with soothing and smooth post-hardcore to create something which, simply put, is the farthest thing from uncertain. Rather, it ambushes the listener with over 25 minutes of driving, pervasive energy, crushing, bombastic heaviness and absolutely ensnaring catchiness that cracks its way through the listener’s skull to get stuck in their head with no intention of getting forced out.

The Uncertainty of Meaning rips into consciousness with a splitting, whiplash-inducing snare crack that serves as a rollicking kick-start for the entire release. Not one moment of Sirena’s seemingly boundlessly energetic attack on the listener falls short—whether it’s the chug-heavy, voracious onslaught to be found in the EP’s heavyweight track, “It’s Not the End of the World” or the contagiously catchy and remarkably upbeat chorus in “Empire Business.” Sirena’s album is akin to an amphetamine, relentlessly pounding at the listener’s parasympathetic system and forcing their heart into overdrive. Like any heartbeat, Sirena have a diastole and a systole to their energetic embrace on the listener’s ears. The diastole thereof to be the enormous amount of catchy, emotive instrumentation—softer, closest-thing-to-calm guitar lines and crooned clean singing (a la “Perseverance”). This diastole is countered by the sinister, crushing contraction of the systole—down-tempo, sludge-laden heaviness and guttural, intense vocal attacks like those found in “Eraserhead” and “It’s Not the End of the World.” In fact, it is the band’s penchant for a unique breed of punishing and pessimistic heaviness which reels the listener in only to split them down the middle and leave them gutless.

Sirena waste no time in confronting the listener with their ability to create chug-heavy, downtuned devastation. However, when “Empire Business” reaches its cleanly-sung chorus for the first time, the listener might find themselves wondering “oh, is it one of these bands?” The answer is, without a doubt, a resounding no. The Uncertainty of Meaning is far from a copy-and-paste post-hardcore-turned-heavy release—rather it is inventive and immersive while being punishing and severe to boot. “Nashville,” for instance, starts off subtly enough, but quickly winds all three of the band’s remarkably well-refined elements into one intense experience. Ambient, atmospheric electronic effects roll with the punches and kicks thrown by the furious, meaty chugs. Meanwhile, both of these ebb and flow into cleanly-sung interludes, giving the listener just enough to surface from the crushing pressure of the band’s blistering series of breakdowns—just enough time to catch their breath before plunging back into the “Nashville”’s murky, aural abyss.

“Nashville,” as well as “Empire Business” and “Eraserhead” are evidence of what allows Sirena to rise high above their post-hardcore-turned-metalcore peers. These tracks—as well as the others found on The Uncertainty of Meaning are not simply lessons in spine-rending heaviness, but also intrusive, contagious catchiness. The cleanly sung chorus that drives “Empire Business” along is simply bound to get stuck on repeat in the listener’s head.  Likewise, “Eraserhead” is home to a series of vicious, grinding grooves that are nothing short of brilliantly written vectors to get one-liner lyric after one-liner lyric snared in the crux of the listener’s hippocampus. In short, Sirena aren’t just “that band with a pretty voice” or “that really heavy act.” Rather, they’re both—a band that uses a brutalizing one-two punch of dynamic heaviness and contagious catchiness to get stuck on repeat in the listener’s brain for days.

Don’t let the misnomer of uncertainty fool you into passing up Sirena’s latest release, The Uncertainty of Meaning. Without a doubt, every second of the EP is written with intent and purpose to snare the listener in its jaws. It is one part devastatingly heavy and skin shredding as well as one part catchy and immersive. Both of these two elements band together to create a recipe for sheer addiction.



For Fans Of: Memphis May Fire, Like Moths to Flames, The Color Morale

By: Connor Welsh