Saturday, January 19, 2013

Continents - Idle Hands

Continents are a band skating somewhere between Hardcore, Metalcore, and Deathcore. The band’s first major label album Idle Hands finds them at some times grooving along with fast paced riffs, other times adding some melodic elements or some kind of rough metalcore inspired cleans on a thankfully short few occasions, to heavy breakdown laden hardcore mosh pit friendly side of things. While that may sound like it could make for a messy mash up of sounds, the band actually makes it all work.

Idle Hands  is chock full of great riffs. It’s not afraid to get a little groovy, but they are pretty focused on fast paced, simple but heavy riffs to keep songs at a great pace while giving you a reason to head bang. There are some ‘tweedlies’ and pitch bends and such here and there and occasionally some lead guitar work, but overall this is a very riff heavy album. The drums are about on the same level as well, they’re not going to make any drummer magazines front cover for being super inventive or technically insane, but they provide a solid backbone to each song and move things along at a comfortable pace.

The vocals are definitely something of note. Not that they are anything particularly groundbreaking, it’s more the rawness of said vocals. We get some excellent gutturals that show this particularly well, but overall the harsh quality of the vocals add a great layer to the music and make it feel even more crazed and abrasive. It’s a perfect fit to the album.

My only real problem with Idle Hands is that it doesn't stand out enough above other hardcore albums. You can hear notable influences from other well-known hardcore acts, which makes for a good place to start but they need to work on founding their own sound more. The album is by no means bad, but there aren’t a whole lot of moments on it that make me want to point it out to my friends and tell them it’s a must listen. There is however one track I thoroughly enjoy on the album which is ‘Loathe’ it’s one of the shortest tracks on the album but it’s the most unique sounding songs and has a fantastic atmosphere. It’s a haunting acoustic guitar opening with dissonant drum pattern in the background that makes for an interesting and eerie opening that leads into an epic second half of the track. There are no vocals on the track, but I would have loved to see more of this style and see how they would have worked vocals into the more atmospheric portions. I feel like if they played with the ideas formed in ‘Loathe’ more on the rest of the album this could have been a far more killer album. Here’s to hoping they expand these ideas on their future work.

Idle Hands won’t likely make a whole lot of top albums of the year list this year, but I’m excited to see where these guys go. Idle Hands is a pretty strong start but there’s definitely more to be found with these guys. If the flesh out their sound more and experiment a tad bit more they could really craft a great career for themselves.

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