Polaris (AUS)
The Death of Me


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (328 Reviews)
February 25th, 2020 | 230 replies


Release Date: 02/21/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: To death, to life. Repeat.

Fans’ first taste of a matured Polaris came in the form of the group’s debut, The Mortal Coil. The Sydney five piece turned head by use of melody and insightful songwriting that somehow stood just a little higher than the scene that surrounds it. Largely, The Mortal Coil took this robust energy, coupled it with feisty riffs and relevant, often uplifting atmospheres. The band’s genericism was forgotten; Polaris quickly built their reputation in the best possible lights and three years later, those fans can expect more of the same. The Death Of Me is an album firmly centred in the band’s roots, with the added benefit of a natural three years maturity. Sure, it’s still nothing new in terms of sheer innovation, but Polaris’ profound ability to meld frenetic soundscapes into heartfelt lyricism is a refreshing take on a genre in dire need of something to talk about. The Death Of Me embraces it’s more melodic moments in equal measure to the album’s more tense, violent embraces - appealing to the genre's broader (yet definitely jaded) fanbases.

The Death Of Me isn’t an album ruled by its moments, taking its best attributes and wrapping them into an overall package. The melancholic notes that grace the contrasting harsh noises of “Pray For Rain” only live in part of the record’s bigger picture, especially considering the band’s tendency to kick things up a notch at any given verse. The quick blast of freneticism that is “Hypermania” contrasts quickly with the melodic intervals that ride Polaris’ rollercoaster of metalcore. It’s unexpectedly refreshing, the way that The Death Of Me dances between the nuance of an emotive-born “Martyr” and the absolute fire of “Landmine” where guitarist Ryan Siew’s talent on the strings take hold within the confining spectrum of the genre.

At the very centre of Polaris’ soundscape is the dual vocal prowess of Jamie Hails and Jake Steinhauser that offsets the group’s bleaker atmospheres with the near hopeful nuance that lull the listener into the album’s bigger picture of bleaker contextual motifs. Of these, it’s the harsher growls that stand out from the cleaner predictability of The Death Of Me’s heavy, clean, heavy, clean formulaic structuring which slightly hamper some individual tracks. But it’s the overall depth of Polaris’ newest affair that treats the listener to harrowing anguish and frustration to the thoughtful moments of clarity and hope (even though these are fleeting in design). The Death Of Me is creative enough to push past some of metalcore’s more poignant tropes, but doesn’t find ways to clearly escape the framework of their lush portrait.

The production here is noticeably on point. Despite the dependency on the light and dark tonality, the bass carries clearly next to Daniel Furnari’s noble drum sections. Because of this, Polaris’ cleaner sections (including the vocals) come off overly polished, but it’s the harsher growls and ragged riffs that shine clearly, unmuddied by the usual hiccups of modern, million-dollar production.

“Creatures Of Habit” (like much of the record) is rapacious in its need for a head-banging groove, but it’s these moments which wrestle with the band’s overall genericism - typical of the scene dominated by Architects and other comprehensive “core” bands. Even the blatant positivity found throughout the melodious and breakdown heavy “Above My Head” is at odds with the album’s rather darker atmospheres. Again, The Death Of Me’s fall-back to a done before genre soundscapes adds slight detriment to an otherwise creative display of Australian-born metalcore. When wrapping up The Death Of Me as a complete work it’s fairly easy to see the contextual foundation to which Polaris build their music. That aside, it’s definitely not a perfect exercise, especially when these tracks are considered on an individual level. But even as “The Descent” wraps up this forty-two minute display it’s difficult to write this album off as “yet another core” record.



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user ratings (203)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
MrToothbrush (4.5)
A stunning me(n)tal breakdown...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, it's a metalcore album. Yes, it's rated higher than a 3/5. Specifically, it's a 3.8 if I could throw an appropriate decimal rating on it.

Durrzo
February 25th 2020


2048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ayyy a contrib review for the boys. This pleases me.

SteakByrnes
February 25th 2020


17786 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hell yea bois let's go

Digging: The Motion Mosaic - Avant-Garbage

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just 4'd a core album... I feel dirty, time to go find me something to 1.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


11455 Comments


Who are you and what have you done with the real Nocte?

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


19096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nocte's account has been hacked! To the forums!

Digging: Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I should probably start backing these reviews up if you guys are gonna get me wiped!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


19096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol that'd be amazing.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


11455 Comments


I mean, I should've known you were gunning to be Sput's resident djenty-boi-in-Chief, but I just didn't believe it...

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Every so often I go and pee on a tree, just so you know I've been here.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


11455 Comments


Also, Ima put this out there; this is actually really damn good. :o

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, Ima put this out there; this is actually really damn good




Sput's official djenty-boi-in-Chief weighing in folks.







BallsToTheWall
February 25th 2020


49929 Comments


I have yet
To hear anything from this band that I like but they get the people moving and put on a good show.

Digging: The Meads of Asphodel - Running Out Of Time Doing Nothing

Durrzo
February 25th 2020


2048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Next time they make it to my town I'm gonna drop everything to make sure I can go see them play.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good work A. Thorne

onionbubs
February 25th 2020


12385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

kinda wish hypermania was the direction most of this was in bc that song wrecks crazy hard. rest is still good tho they have a monster of a screamer

Digging: Enter Shikari - Take to the Skies

MiloRuggles
February 25th 2020


433 Comments


This review's got me spasming in the pews speaking in tongues, big ups

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2020


12041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I take Milo love when it's offered. Thanks man.

Ray91
February 25th 2020


603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm glad that new record does sound a bit less djenty then I remember the mortal coil. This is certainly a well done "standard" metalcore record and I have a soft sport for this band, but the cleans bug me a little bit from time to time. Could be a bit more raw somehow

Digging: The Motion Mosaic - Avant-Garbage

TheNotrap
February 25th 2020


13506 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There's nothing remarkable about these guys' core signature, in my opinion.

Nice write-up, as usual.



Digging: Wake - Devouring Ruin



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