Review Summary: Some traces of hero worship remain, yet Canada's latest metal youngster exports first proper release is brimming with well-used potential.
Misguided Aggression – Hatchala
And the identity crisis strikes again! Young bands, making waves, playing songs they love, tend to always seem to steal from someone these days. Canada’s latest band that is trying to make ripples in the metal scene, Misguided Aggression, definitely has that hero worship aspect to their music; but thankfully here is one of the first young bands I’ve heard that captures those elements of other bands, takes them, moulds them into shape, and makes the whole thing swing a little. Thank the Invisible Pink Unicorn; it’s been a while since we had one of those.
For the uninformed, Misguided Aggression is a bunch of youngsters from the land of moose and ice hockey, and they play some form of metal. Figuring out who their idols are shouldn’t be hard, as they wear it on their tattooed sleeves: their new record features lovely percussive Meshuggah riffing with the added rhythmic complexity, vocals that sound particularly like Mr Blythe from Lamb of God, and there is a melodic thrash aspect as well that is almost bordering on metalcore (thankfully this bit never gets too dominant).
If you think that sounds pretty neat, well, you’re right, because it meshes well. The band’s vocalist may take cues from Lamb of God, but he sounds almost equally good, and therefore this band has had the luck of finding a vocalist who does not instantly ruin the music. Good work on finding this one, guys. The band’s technical aspect is also pretty well developed, as the two instrumental songs feature those typical “stop-start”, odd-meter rhythmic changes, and they pull it off with aplomb. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but these youngsters do it almost as well as their heroes do. These guys knew where they wanted to go with their stuff and they pulled it off. Kudos. The only thing is that the lyrics aren’t really overly expressive, but they aren’t the focus anyway. They fit the music. It all sounds like a coherent disc, an integrated whole, instead of scattered bits and pieces, and it’s been a while since I heard a bunch of youngsters sound this tight.
The only two-sided coin on this record is the running time. It’s a mere 26 minutes, and on the one hand that is good, as after a while the songs do start to blend into each other sonically, but on the other hand, these guys do have a premiere membership at the squealing riff factory, and I think these guys could have easily churned out more high quality material in the same vein. If these guys keep writing this sort of heavy, catchy, groovy riffs they should be a force to be reckoned with within a few years, because right now these kids are in their prime.
It’s not often that I do this, but for a band that is just coming on to the scene, I take my hats off to these guys. Most bands that are on Year of the Sun hold promise, but would take three records at least to mould it into shape. These guys could be huge on the next one (just lose a bit of the Meshuggah worship). This is one of the neatest records of extreme metal from an upcoming band I’ve heard in quite a while, and that is saying something. Canada’s still got the magic touch, it seems, so why don’t we cheer and clink our pints for a band that shows other bands how it’s done?