Review Summary: As remarkable as it is brutal, [i]Meta[/i] shapes up to be one of the most exciting and well written records of the year. A must for anyone who enjoys technical and classy heavy music.
So far, 2016 has been an exciting year for new music, particularly in the genres of metal and hardcore. Renowned acts such as Norma Jean
and The Dillinger Escape Plan
(amongst several others) have realeased quality records that have lived up to their hype. Car Bomb
are certainly no exception to this list and their third album of their career, entitled Meta
proves to be a superb addition to the many oustanding releases that this year has had to offer thus far.
, primarily speaking, are a mathcore outfit that blend the rhythmic chaos of the aforementioned [/i]Meshuggah[/i] with the technical wizardry of (also referred to) bands such as tDEP. Opening track 'From the Dust of This Planet' begins with an onslaught of downtuned guitars before morphing into a colossal frenzy of chugging riffs and raw vocals. First things first - the production is second to none, with an absolutely monolithic low end and the guitars cutting through the mix much like buzzsaws or something of the like. The drums tie in remarkably well with the frenetic pace of the fretwork and there are even some clean vocals spotted arpund the middle of the track. 'Secrets Within' continues in the same vein, with galloping triplet riffs and sporadic yet well placed tempo and time signature shifts. Things do slow down in the mid-section, with a slew of stretched out guitar chords (coupled with some complex and nifty guitar flourishes). One thing for sure is that the everything here sounds perfectly pristine - despite the heaviosity and extreme nature of the guitars, the bass cuts through surprisingly well. The overall conglomerate of instruments works incredibly well, with nothing sounding forced or out of place.
Album highlights include the almost ballad-esque (well, as close to a ballad as you can get in this genre) 'The Oppressor', which combines the formulae for the heavy with the beauty and fragility of cleaner sections. This definitely helps to provide breathing room for the listener. Whereas on previous releases, where melody and the like weren't explored as much (although on Centralia
the remarkable 'Cellophane Stiletto' featured some brilliant clean sections) here on Meta
there is more experimentation regarding the material presented. The unrelenting 'Black Blood' barrages the listener with a marvellous collection of chaotic riffs and unhinged insanity, as well as a breakdown section that is guaranteed to get your head banging. 'Sets' even incoporates elements of sludge into the mix during the beginning section of the song, before delving headfirst into yet even more rhythmic chaos, as well as a beautifully realised (if short) clean section. The synergy between the guitars, rhythm section and vocals is undeniable - the band are undoubtedly at the top of their game in that regard. Couple that with the practically flawless album production and you certainly have a contender for album of the year.
As for negative aspects concerning Meta
, very little can be said or noticed. Whilst 'Cenotaph' may drag at times and be a little less interesting than the rest of the album, everything here is top notch and of excellent quality. The album is consistent in both its unpredictability and it's overall quality. Throughout its 48 minute duration, the band are unrelenting in their quest to provide a brutal and aurally pleasing album, essentially creating an album with practically no filler material whatsoever. Right from the get-go, the riffs are both heavy and creative and the chemistry between the band members and their instruments is undeniably superb. As far as albums within the genre, I can safely say that Meta
is one of the most consistent and rewarding albums of the past decade, let alone this year. If you're looking for creative brutality, than look no further - Car Bomb have released an album which will go down in history as one of the best of it's kind. A real gem of 2016, Meta
shapes up to be one of the most exciting and well written records of the year.
From the Dust of This Planet