This quintet of Veneto already released an EP in 2014 that gained mostly negative criticism, but for the debut they seem to have fixed a more precise target. Not only is the production this time up to international standards, but the songwriting and performance have surprised foreign reviewers who previously thought that Italy's good exports only lied in fashion, art, food and wine lines.
Although this is not a concept album, all the lyrics are connected by existential issues and thoughts about the meaning of life: they range from arrogant, selfish and narcissistic people, to the universe's indifference and lack of an afterlife, from humbleness learned through nature's life caducity to four people fighting to survive and provide for their families (and these lyrics are at a far superior level than the rest). The other subjects are: we, the 99% fighting for crumbs, the smallness of mankind inside the universe and the fact that we're screwed no matter.
Both the opener "Boneheads" and the following "Hindered" show a contrast between angelic parts with children's choirs in the vein of P.O.D., and other darker, more hammering structures of Groovy Metalcore; the former is accompanied by an official video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hyR-Oi7LDY, while the latter contains addictive elements and the excerpt of a speech by popular ethologist, biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins.
After an acoustic beginning made precious by sublime vocals by guest singer Philip Strande lent by Normandie, "Idlehands" goes on through an excellent refrain, a blastbeat and frantic moments followed by typical Metalcore stops 'n' go and an instrumental ending. Being a valid song it's been chosen for a tour video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ_DCUjGqd4)
The immediate and straight assault of "Running Tired" is Djent and Metalcore blending Meshuggah and Ceiling Of Anvers at the finest; here too the catchy refrain conquers listeners right away and moreover a melodic vocal layer is added to the aggressive one, while the guitars weave interesting riffs and fills-in joining different ingredients smoothly.
"Modern Day Heroes" must be remembered due to its good songwriting and extremely remarkable dual performance of the singer and drummer.
The only instrumental of the album, "Autunno" turns out to be melancholic Ambient stressing out the world's carelessness to human joys and tragedies with its spoken words onto a Metalcore foundation.
Decidedly the heaviest and the highlight of the disc, "Fight for Crumbs" displays annihilating drumwork and two memorable guitar works before the terrific break anticipating the end just a few seconds: while one axe creates a fill-in when it's not time for a slamming riff, the other goes solo.
Keys and a piano introduce us to the core of the brief "Initiatory Path", where the refrain between Erra and the hardest Linking Park shows up.
Squeezing and fast with Progressive arrangements, a few stops 'n' go, and an atmospheric part, "The Deep End" is chiefly based upon a very old school Hardcore backbone that you can perceive, too if you listen to that carefully.
And "A Should with A Must" starts in a manner that has a very evident Punk/Hardcore feeling, later followed by not too heavy Metalcore parts and other destructive textures. The nth involving refrain matched with the best guitar lines of the album precedes the children's choir appearing for the third time and the layer of aggressive vocals on tender ones on the background before the repetiton of the refrain.
Even if there are several exciting qualities in "Frown upon Us", the record disappoints a bit because of two flaws: first and foremost it recurs to the same patterns and components too many times, thus resulting fatiguing for the auditory; secondly, unfortunately it doesn't bring new ideas, exploiting old musical solutions usually in a rather satisfactory manner, sometimes exceptionally and sometimes in a less exemplary fashion. Fans of Architects, Crown The Empire, While She Sleeps, Hundredth and Northlane are going to adore these ten songs probably more than me, as well as those of Caliban, Darkest Hour, A Stained Glass Romance, For The Fallen Dreams, Capture The Crown, Oceans Ate Alaska, To Kill Achilles, The Word Alive, For Today and Damned Spring Fragrantia to a lesser extent.