Review Summary: "I loved you more than the sky loves blue"
Five years since their self-titled, and personally adored, fourth album, Index Case returns, without a label or any intention to give up still. Their latest independent release entitled Augustagein takes the traditional yet unique to them Nu-Metal sound and pushes it in countless new directions in hopes of diversifying their appeal. What it all amounts to is a surprisingly spectacular collection of music that should please current and potential fans alike.
If you are just now discovering Index Case, this album is an excellent place to start as together, Joe Ansley (Vocals), Josh Parker (Guitar), Nick Borror (Bass) and Josh Ickowitz (Drums) succeed in combining their heavier roots with more recently acquired bursts of melody.
The album opener “The Cut” proves just that as the pounding instruments transition into one hell of a catchy melody and finally a powerful chorus combining the two. The lyrics, in classic Index Case fashion, remain creative and mysterious, displaying one of my favourite aspects of the band. Overall a wonderful track that should definitely please the current fans wishing for a more Alt. Metal oriented tune.
“This City Has Got To Pay” disregards my last paragraph entirely as the band brings us a track that I couldn’t even believe was theirs. While still keeping some form of heavy guitar riffs, Joe practically shouts the words (occasionally at a time) until an equally unusual chorus kicks in. Meanwhile the entire thing, in combination with very simple lyrics this time, comes off more hip-hop than metal. I always welcome this sort of experimentation but it may be difficult to adjust to. This sort of adventure into the unknown can also be seen on “Magic” and the hidden track “Sent In Gray”, both almost entirely softly sung and very creepy songs.
We then get tracks like “Know the Sleep” and “Favor’s Keeper”, both great examples of singing merged with heavy instrumentals to provide not only a welcomed dynamic, but a beautiful ambiance. Just try to listen to the second half of “Favor’s Keeper” and not feel something, anything. Both are also the longest from the CD and really help round it out in terms of available musical styles.
As for the rest of the album, including standouts such as “Underwater”, “The Space” and “Blood and A Siren”, Index Case fall back to what they do best and create some extremely catchy, appropriately heavy and deliberately short tunes that will stay with you for weeks, or in my case, forever. These are highly melodic gems that are not to be missed!
For so much that works here however, there are a few unfortunate instances. Since their previous release stuck mostly to one musical style, it was very easy to either love or hate the entire CD. Here, respectfully nonetheless, the band went for a bit of a gamble on some of the tracks like “This City Has Got To Pay” while another, “A Cursive Denial”, simply failed to deliver due to the ability of the singer, despite the familiar sound. Joe’s vocals were never very strong; it’s something fans know and grew to live with, but that truly shows in the chorus here which is just...unpleasant. Still, there is more than enough here to keep long time fans such as myself very happy while at the same time providing enough of a variety for new recruits to join the clan.
I strongly encourage you to give these guys a listen as well as their previous release!