Elitist is a newer 4-piece Progressive Metalcore act that just released their début album, Reshape | Reason, this year. So far in their career, they have also put out a pair of EPs in the last few years. Their first EP, Caves, was well-received by fans of the genre, despite the fact that some detractors wrote them off as a bastardized version of August Burns Red. The second release, Earth, saw the band replace vocalists and take on a new sound that was more influenced by the growing djent movement that was popularized and pioneered by Meshuggah, SikTh, and Periphery. The fresh vocal talent on Earth was rather bland due all the monotone screams, and the music seemed a bit lazier and less energetic than Caves.
Now, in 2012, Elitist have replaced their vocalist for a second time and dropped one of their guitarists, thus becoming a 4-piece group. The music of Reshape | Reason falls somewhere in between the metalcore sound of Caves and the djent influence on Earth. Fortunately, Elitist manages to take the best of both avenues and compile it into an extremely hard-hitting slab of metal on their début record.
The vocal performance is definitely an improvement over Earth. While the passion is not quite at the level of Caves, the new vocalist has much more command with his screams. There are even some clean vocal sections in “Equinox” and “Scared Geometry” which aren't overly amazing, but are adequate and also provide some variety.
While Elitist is not an overly technical band, all of the musicians in the band are exceptionally talented at crafting songs that keep the attention of both musicians and causal listeners. Album opener “Unto the Sun”, whilst sounding eerily similar to Earth’s opener “Pulse” in the beginning, is a great way to be introduced to the new record. It opens with a fast-paced syncopated riff with an ambient lead over top, which shifts into an extremely catchy harmonized hammer-on/pull-off section with the drummer constantly playing with high energy. There are a lot of strong moments in the same vein to be found on the record. The tracks on Reshape | Reason are filled with wild tempo-changes and complicatedly structured riffs.
The only real issue with Elitist’s début full length is that sometimes it can be hard to differentiate the songs in the first few listens if you aren't giving the music the attention it demands. There are a handful of ambient leads on some of the tracks that manage to blend together. However, there is some decent variety to be found on the record such as the soft sections in “Transmutation” and “Scared Geometry” (one of my favourite tracks on the record), the clean vocals sprinkled across the album, and the occasional breakdowns that are actually welcome for once since they are well-executed and in all the right places.
I would definitely recommend this album to fans of metal and also the musician crowd. Elitist is a band that uses its technicality in the form of a cohesive unit instead of just showing off individually in the typical wank-festivals found on a lot of technical and/or progressive metal records.