Adestria - Chapters
Record Label: Artery Records
Release Date: March 26th, 2012
Adestria is a metal band from San Diego, California who signed with Artery Records after the release of their EP, Oh The Places You'll Go. Chapters is their debut album and it is quite the ride. While listening through Chapters, I came across all the metal cliches. Breakdowns, gang chants, technical riffs and even some synth thrown in there. What makes Chapters such a blast is Adestrias way of infusing all of these elements together to make an album that is still mildly generic, but an incredibly fun experience nonetheless.
Chapters explodes open with the first track "Compromised". It's a good opening track to get you pumped, with the techinically impressive guitars and pounding gang chants. This formula continues through to "1984" which expands on the technicality and synth aspects. Matt Anderson growls, screams and shatters through the unclean vocals. It really got me wanting to throw down in a mosh pit (or just jump around my room). The third track "Whiskey for the Soul" focuses on Matt's ability to sing more then anything else. While his voice is not bad, it is nothing spectacular either, which is one of Adestrias biggest problems in general. The next track is "The Odyssey" which is a straight up metal track. No cleans, no synth. Just breakdown city and gutting screams. The next two tracks, "Outsiders" and "Defy the Stars", are good (nothing amazing though) and "Outsiders" incoporates the most gang chants in the album.
Chapters finally slows down with "More Than You Know". The first half of the song is Matt's cleans with piano in the background which moves into a slow drum beat. Matt sounds his best here and it is a very nice listen. The second half picks up again with Matt screams coming back and the guitars moving into simple breakdowns. The album continues with "The Masquerade" which is one of the weakest tracks on the album. It is very basic with screams and guitars raining down, but none of it is something that I haven't heard before. The second to last track is "This Ship, A Coffin". A technically exhausting song, with ochestral trumpets in certain parts which kept the interest up when I was listening. The final track "A Scarlett Letter" is the best song on the album. Adestria turn it up to 11 with pulse pounding guitars, guttural screams and great "Motionless in White" type synth. But what really makes this track stand out is Scott Barnes from In Fear and Faith who does guest vocals on the album. His voice is instantly recognizable in the last third of the song. Scott's voice is great and adds a lot of dimension to the song. Even after the nine track assault, "Scarlett Letter" was still able to get my heart pounding and my adrenaline pumping.
If you go into Chapters thinking it is something amazing and will redefine the metal/metalcore genres, you are going to be dissapointed. If you go in thinking "alright this may be nothing new, but it will be a hell of a lot of fun" then you will have an absolute blast listening to Chapters. Even with the problems, Matt's average clean vocals and the sub-par lyrics, I still loved Adestrias debut album.
This is by far my favourite release of 2012 so far.
I really enjoy Matt's cleans, they are a refreshing change to the higher pop punk vocals usually found in this type of music. The fact he can do decent cleans, screams and growls is impressive enough.
I would have to disagree with Scarlett Letter being the best song. This is one of those albums with that many good songs its impossible to choose. It is legitimately the first album Ive come across i have been able to listen to over and over without getting sick of it.