Review Summary: Adestria brings a lot to the table to create an emotionally charged album.
With the metalcore/post-hardcore genre already filled with many cookie cutter acts, you tend to find bands that lack any passion in the music that they make. Breakdowns, screams and riffs all tend to become too predictable, leaving songs dry and uninteresting.
As you can see, Adestria has a lot to prove if they wish to stand out, and that is exactly what they do.
The vocalist is extremely impressive with a large unclean range going from high fry screams to deep growls. What is also surprising is that the vocalist pulls double duty, providing clean vocals that are nothing to flick your nose at. His clean vocals are very reminiscent of House vs Hurricane. They are aimed more towards the middle register, but are still nonetheless very refreshing.
Lyrically the album feels somewhat of a concept album with song topics ranging from the typical love/hate relationship, to a metaphorical song about getting rid of the captain of a ship. The only problem is that I sometimes can’t tell if some of the lyrics don’t make sense, or if they are so deep that I don’t understand what they are trying to portray. Nonetheless, they are still a strong point of the album.
Instrumentally, Adestria seems to pull elements from many genres. There were some songs that I felt would fit right in with As I Lay Dying’s repository with sweeping guitar riffs and charging tempos.
One thing that really sets Adestria apart from many other metalcore/post-hardcore acts though is the use of synth/keyboard and other programming tools. They aren’t draped over the whole song as a last ditch effort to spice things up, but instead are used to create an atmosphere that will suck you and cause you to experience different sets of emotions. If you want a quick example of what I’m talking about, pull up the song “1984” on YouTube and wait till about 24 seconds into the song.
Another item of note is how the band is able to interweave soft moments of music along with the high-powered moments, showing that they aren’t just a power-chug band. This is clearly shown in the very interesting soft ballad, “More Than You Know”. This song displays the vocalists cleans to an extent that you wouldn’t believe after listening to the previous 6 or 7 tracks.
The album also features 2 guest vocalists. Tyler “Telle” Smith from The Word Alive in track 3 “Whiskey for the Soul”. Telle’s soft vocals fit right in and definitely add a new element to an intense song.
Scott Barnes of In Fear and Faith is featured in the last song of the album titled “Scarlet Letter”. His vocals tend to feel a bit out of place when they do come in towards the last bit of the song though. His vocals just seem a bit fragile compared to Adestria’s vocalist. Simply spoken, they should’ve either chosen a different guest, or not have featured Scott Barnes at all.
Overall, this is a solid album that draws from many elements to create down-right hardcore songs but with such finesse that will more than likely leave you humming verses well after you’re finished listening.
Strong lead vocalist capable of delivering solid cleans and uncleans.
Charging instruments that never show a dull moment but are still able to pull off soft moments with no cost in momentum.
Excellent use of synth/keyboard/programming that really sets the mood.
An awkward guest vocalist.
Somewhat strange lyrics.