View From The Soyuz Immaculate
In the early 2000’s, metalcore as a genre started to receive an influx of attention as well as mainstream listeners, building to the metoric rise of bands such as All That Remains, Bleeding Through and Killswitch Engage with their subsequent placement on huge festival tours such as Ozzfest (Remember when “94 Hours” was As I Lay Dying’s most talked about hit? Times sure have changed!). This particular side of the genre was heavily influenced by Swedish metal most of all, with At The Gates’ seminal album Slaughter Of The Soul arguably standing as the blueprint for many of them. The combination of soaring melodic guitar leads and crushing breakdowns was something seemingly nobody could get enough of back then, which led to an eventual oversaturation of that sonic space and the inevitable pivot away from that sound entirely in hardcore and metal circles.
However, there are still many who love the bands and records from those days to this day, and you can certainly count Japanese rippers View From The Soyuz among them. Their new EP Immaculate sounds like it could have been released right alongside the iconic records from the aforementioned bands, a laboriously faithful look back to the era when heavily metal-influenced bands from the hardcore scene were blowing up and dominating public discussion in both metal and punk circles and beyond. And while they’re certainly successfully pulling off all of the elements that made this particular brand of metalcore so popular in the first place, it is at times a double-edged sword that finds them somewhat lacking their own identity.
From the opening intro track “Chronostasis” onward through the 4 lengthy songs on Immaculate, View From The Soyuz fully embody the mix of soaring Swedish melodic death metal leads and huge, massive breakdowns that dominated early 2000’s metal in the US, and they never for a second deviate from this formula. Certainly everything which made that sound so engaging back then is present here in spades, and there’s no denying the outright passion the band displays here both in their performance across this record. One big highlight at the EP’s midway mark is “When My World Collapse”, the most straightforward song on the record that brings all of the band’s strongest points to the forefront, with no single passage or riff overstaying it’s welcome, and every minute hitting harder than the last. It’s an incredibly engaging song overall, and It unfortunately left me wishing all of the material on this album had followed this route. While there are certainly standout moments here-and-there on the rest of the record, there are also many moments where the lengthier songs overstay their welcome and end up detracting from the record as a whole in terms of repeat listens.
With that being said, the passion that View From The Soyuz have for this era of metalcore is certainly apparent and palpable in their execution of the material, and they certainly have a great handle on crafting crushing breakdowns and memorable melodic guitarwork. Those who still find themselves coming back to that early 00’s metalcore sound will absolutely find plenty to latch onto here, and there’s certainly a lot of promise in the prospect of an eventual full-length offering that could see the band coming into their own unique foothold in the scene. Keeping all of that in mind - regardless of the solid execution of the sound here - those who feel still fatigued from the onslaught of Swedish melodic death metal influenced bands from the early 2000’s are most likely not going to find themselves falling back in love with the sound here.
Bottom Line: Immaculate certainly has it’s charm, and while it may be something many have heard a thousand times before, the passion displayed in the performances here show a lot of promise for an eventual full length offering from View From The Soyuz. While some of the songs on this EP often overstay their welcome, the moments where the band does shine bring to mind the excitement and engagement that the rising metalcore bands of the early 00’s brought along with them.
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It's only rate low because of racism
Not bad, they remind of older Caliban