Review Summary: Erra marked their crowning achievement through Augment by living up to its definition, in the most memorable manner possible.
Metalcore has always found itself in the most critical state since its conception. Most common mistake lies at its modern form, opening the gates for more disturbing phases and unpleasant formulas- the synthetic use of instruments, clichéd, mostly uninspired songwriting with little to no sense- focusing onto hedonism and love-hate relationships, inaudible musical arrangements, unnecessary gestures, (mainly those that resembles to the movement of the crabs) and lastly the monochromatic-themed fashion, that infatuates target audiences and caters the most brutal poser that is scene kids. Such undesirable events caused staggering and uncontrollable flak to majority of bands, especially the less-talented ones- dragged by prominence under the most favorable, yet confusing reasons over the past few years.
However, at the depths of this atrocity lies a very few recognizable acts, drowned by utter generalization of poor and effortless materials by their famous peers. Make no mistake, Erra’s latest offering, Augment
soars high with full aggression, as Erra backtracked from Impulse,
once again employing straight-forward metalcore formula, emphasizing on unbelievable amount of melodies and progressive harmony without losing balance and consistency and can be consumed rather with ease.
The quintet’s prowess delves deeper into the genre this time, forging a higher stature of metalcore shrine. Augment,
while surpassing the modern metalcore standards, enforces authority in a more cohesive state. Jesse Cash’s vocals remained a show-stealer, as it feels more natural on Augment,
and significantly improved compared to Impulse.
With respective contemporaries who specialize in utilizing the most disappointing embellishments available within the metalcore ground to the extremes– primarily breakdowns and electronics, and the majority relentlessly weaving such abomination to each and every track until there is no potential left to be found, Erra simply employ the same elements from Impulse
perfectly, with devastating results. From the djenty guitar progressions to amazing drumming, and the different atmosphere veiling the songs throughout Augment,
there’s no stopping Erra from unleashing their true musicianship. Perhaps the most interesting part of the record is Erra’s excellent use of both screams and growls, most notably the cleans due to its high range, although many could find it near to annoying at times in the long run.
in their arsenal, Erra already cemented a concrete foundation with sheer animosity, whether to be driven largely by colossal singing or technical aspects in its perfect sense. At times possibly derailing and treading outside the standard music territory, Augment’s finest moments lies in its never-ending assault of blazing riffs, atmospheric passages and high-octane execution of their superior materials. The most dramatic piece that is “Dementia”, the album closer, imposes the aforementioned elements without hesitation. “Alpha Seed” put many metalcore openers to shame, establishing progressive guitar sections, soaring high cleans and ferocious guttural roars- drastically improving the progress of the album and succeeding on both diversity and style in a such delicate fashion.
Erra, as an ever-growing band, expanded in both songwriting and instrumental territories and it pays off. Augment
is truly inspiring in its ambition, and a careful implementation of what they have to offer. Erra achieved the most tremendous growth and development of their career through Augment,
ultimately defining the term completely with justice, in the most memorable manner possible.