It’s probably fair to say there’s nothing new happening in metalcore. While there are bands doing metalcore justice and bringing their own spin to the genre, most of what’s happening is tired and played out.
Ace Augustine is the newest addition to the Strike First line-up and their debut The Absolute is another addition to the metalcore ranks.
The Absolute isn’t bring much new to the table in the way of sound. At various times I’m reminded of For Today, Haste the Day, and The Devil Wears Prada. The album’s opening track, Justifiers, didn’t give me much hope that the album would be any good. It starts in typical deathcore fashion and doesn’t deviate a whole lot from that path. But 2013 Looks Promising brings the modern metalcore sound in.
While the Absolute isn’t terrible technical on any level, and the riffs won’t make you go nuts, Ace Augustine’s debut isn’t a record to dismiss. What Ace Augustine doesn’t do is almost as important as what they do. The band does well of not falling into genre pitfalls. No 808 bass drops, not your standard screaming verse, clean sung chorus. While there are breakdowns, they aren’t out of control and running loose all over the place. A couple of nice gang chants, and a job well done and picking spots to mix the clean vocals in help the Absolute from being just another metalcore record.
My biggest issue is Ben Moser’s vocals. While his deep guttural growls are nice, his regular screams are too high pitched for me. The overall feel of his vocals remind me of Mike Hranica from TDWP.
Overall Ace Augustine’s debut is a decent album with some nice moments but a lot of what’s already available for mass consumption. If you love metalcore and can’t get enough, this is a record for you to pick up.