Polaris
Fatalism


4.3
superb

Review

by Tyler White STAFF
September 11th, 2023 | 183 replies


Release Date: 09/01/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A legacy to be remembered

June 19, 2023. A day that will be remembered by Polaris and fans for years to come. The tragic news of guitarist Ryan Siew’s death was unexpected and a blow to the heart of the band. He will always be missed and never forgotten, his memory forever ingrained within his powerful guitar work. This is Fatalism, the legacy of Ryan and Polaris’ crowning achievement.

Fatalism, an album marked by darker themes surrounding dystopia and despair, balances Polaris’ heavier aggression and tinted melodic progressions in a gloomy manner. With opener “Harbinger,” the deep synths underlying the building guitar and drum chemistry provides a subtly haunting melody that sets the desperate tone of the record. Not long after exploding into an immersive chorus and soaring vocal phrases, the opener soon gives into an intense breakdown of instrumentation with chunky power chords, choppy groove, and unrelenting vocals. This stark contrast of melodic features against abrasive ferocity persists throughout the album, creating an ebb and flow of songwriting progression that builds and breaks down in manic fashion.

“Nightmare” and “The Crossfire” exemplify this contrast exceptionally, with beautifully constructed guitar melodies that soar over catchy instrumentation that is balanced out by moments of rapid-fire breakdowns. The latter, which has a lofty chorus of higher register vocals mixed with gritty shouts, features an extended post-chorus with intense mid-range screams, blistering guitar leads overlaying chugging riffs, and pummeling drumwork. Similarly, “Fault Line” contains heavier, aggressive verses full of chaotic riffs and harmonics and moments of phenomenal melody in the chorus and calmness of the bridge that gives room to breathe. This balance of contrast showcases the duality of Fatalism throughout the tracks and embodies the nature of the devastating themes.

However, the balance isn’t always preserved through each track, but through the album as a whole. On the aggressive side, “Parasite” and “Inhumane” are almost entirely devoid of melodic elements. These tracks are full to the brim of intense riffs and grooves that are relentless in nature, pummeling throughout the entire duration of the songs without hesitation. Along with this abrasive progression, the manic and unhinged vocals of Jamie Hails amplify the intensity to another degree, emphasizing the dark nature of Fatalism. On the other hand, “With Regards” and “Overflow” feature vibrant, almost happy-sounding, choruses that showcase an energetic melody that gives light to the dire situation of the album. These moments provide a breath of fresh air that open up the atmosphere and ambiance of the record. “Aftertouch” goes even further, with over half of the track being a slow burn melodic progression that explodes into an eerily dark explosion of anger, immediately counterbalanced by the massive, graceful chorus.

Ultimately, however, this balance feels all for naught. Despite the moments of vibrant melody and soaring harmonies, they are tainted by the overwhelming concept of despair that plagues the lyrics of Fatalism. Closer “All In Vain” resembles this unshakeable feeling of grief contained within, screaming out “I have opened up the veins of the earth/And there is nothing there for me.” These words become even tougher in context of what has happened, bringing a greater sense of devastation to an already bleak theme. Nonetheless, Fatalism goes beyond just the theme of darkness, it is the band’s most cohesive effort and a final memory of Ryan. Beyond the dystopia remains a legacy forever embodied within the music.



Recent reviews by this author
One Step Closer All You EmbraceDiamond Construct Angel Killer Zero
Greyhaven Stereo GriefNight Verses Every Sound Has a Color...: Part II
Night Verses Every Sound Has a Color...: Part IThe Callous Daoboys God Smiles Upon the Callous Daoboys
user ratings (191)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
joshieboy (4.5)
For Ryan...



Comments:Add a Comment 
tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2023


4529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

It's been a while y'all... school, 2 jobs, and cheer has really taken all my time up, but we finally got this out

Album is absolutely amazing! Happy to have gotten one last, phenomenal effort to see Ryan's insane guitar work... he will be missed

onionbubs
September 11th 2023


21136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it is here lfg. album is a lot of fun

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2023


4529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Insanely fun, "Parasite" gets me going

SaveBandit
September 11th 2023


3301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is growing on me after not being grabbed by it the first couple listens. With Regards chorus is incredible.



And it's awesome to hear Jamie pull out the lows a time or two. Need more of those please lol.

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2023


4529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Him pulling them out on Dissipate and Aftertouch is insane, I love em so much

Sowing
Moderator
September 11th 2023


43965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really like the cover art, don't know anything about the band but feel bad that there was a tragedy. I'll give this a go soon.

SaveBandit
September 11th 2023


3301 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They seem like genuinely good dudes too. Easy to root for ya know?

JayEnder
September 11th 2023


20040 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally a review! Nice one ty :]



Pretty great album, something holding these guys back from getting a 4 from me though. Definitely a huge step up from DoU tho and the one two punch of Crossfire and Dissipate is *mwah*

JayEnder
September 11th 2023


20040 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Big RIP to Ryan too. Dude was a riff machine.

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2023


4529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Yeah, gonna miss his riffs for sure

bellovddd
September 11th 2023


6122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

with regards is such a tune. might be my fav hook they have dropped. I get to see them Saturday, its going to be really fucking sad

bloc
September 11th 2023


70273 Comments


Anyone else thought it was penguins on the album cover or was it just me

bellovddd
September 11th 2023


6122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol now since you've said it i wont be able to unsee it.

SteakByrnes
September 12th 2023


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album pwns, glad this review finally spawned lol



RIP Ryan

outliers
September 12th 2023


5007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Anyone else thought it was penguins on the album cover or was it just me"



lmao you are not alone

DarkSideOfLucca
September 12th 2023


17662 Comments


I too thought they were penguins

outliers
September 12th 2023


5007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why can’t all Jake choruses be as good as All In Vain’s

Durrzo
September 12th 2023


3310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He has some pretty strong choruses on this one imo. Nightmare chorus obviously sucks but I like most of the others a fair bit.

bellovddd
September 12th 2023


6122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the only let down is some of his choruses here. just aren't as memorable as i was hoping for

bellovddd
September 12th 2023


6122 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

with regards might be my fav his done. ultra pop punky though.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy