Stand Alone Complex
review published: 8/6/2015
Stand Alone Complex are a progressive metalcore band based in Huntsville, Alabama. Dreamstate is the group's second EP.
After a short intro track, Dreamstate kicks off with opener "The Drifter." Bringing to mind a more melodic sounding August Burns Red, Stand Alone Complex weave their way through spacey atmospheres and chugging riffs with impressive fluidity. "The Drifter" features an almost constant attack of technical guitar leads, providing an interesting contrast to its palm-muted counterpart and hammering double bass. The group makes good use of a technical, odd timed breakdown before closing out the track.
"The Collector" continues on in a similar vein but features a slower pace overall with more melodic sections. The guitars play off each other, this time executing more harmonies and groove laden fills. The vocals remain fairly steady, never changing much beyond their consistent gritty scream. This track just never matches the intensity of its predecessor.
The second half of the EP begins with "The Navigator" – the most unique sounding track on the record. A frenetic djent riff gives way to a Korn-esque dissonant wail before moving back into the more aggressive technical side of the album's opener. "The Navigator" finds itself finishing up with another bouncey djent riff.
Closer "The Deceiver" is probably the strongest track of the bunch, jumping between melodic leads and glitchy djent riffs with ease. The overall performance of the band is impressive and the song writing is tight. Things draw to a conclusion rather predictably with an off-rhythm breakdown.
The technicality of Stand Alone Complex is evident on Dreamstate. The guitar playing is impressive without being overly flashy and the drumming is spot on, adding a roundness to the chunky riffs. The vocals leave something to be desired as they never really stray from their monotonous wail, but they also manage to avoid metalcore clichés.
Bottom Line: Dreamstate isn't a particularly original sounding record but Stand Alone Complex are talented enough to keep things interesting.
Track Listing: 01. Lucidity 02. The Drifter 03. The Collector 04. The Navigator 05. The Deceiver