ALBUM: Polaris – The Mortal Coil
November 3rd, 2017
Sydney’s Polaris are the latest in a long line of Australian bands to make their mark on metalcore. Having released two EPs on Aussie label Resist Records and toured with heavyweights Parkway Drive, the five-piece have been pulling out all the stops to make a name for themselves in their home country.
Now, they’re releasing their first full-length, ‘The Mortal Coil’, on America’s fast-rising SharpTone Records, and are ready to show the rest of the world what they’re made of. If this album is anything to go by, then what they’re made of is pretty solid.
The album bombards you with aggressive instrumentation and huge choruses right from the start, but rather than running out of steam half way through, as is often customary when the hooks are this thick and fast, ‘The Mortal Coil’ never lets up.
Opener ‘Lucid’ is a riotous, bangover-inducing rager led by a blistering drum beat courtesy of Daniel Furnari. “I found my love and let it kill me,” roars frontman Jamie Hails‘ (Bukowski reference, guys?). Up next is single ‘The Remedy’, with crunchy, technical guitars that build once again to a soaring crescendo of a chorus.
Versatility is one of the key strong points, and each song manages to sound different without disrupting the album’s innate cohesiveness. ‘Casualty’, arguably the heaviest cut on the record, immerses the listener in ambient, techy breakdowns, whilst ‘In Somnus Veritas’ is a slow-burning, atmospheric interlude that breaks up the album nicely. The dual vocals that are all but a requirement of metalcore nowadays are ever present here, with bassist Jake Steinhauser providing the spellbinding cleans that mesh brilliantly with Hails‘ brutal screams. Hails‘ introspective lyrics are as sharp as they are sincere, and conducive to huge sing-a-longs. “The poison in my head’s become the poison in my veins,” he bellows on ‘Relapse’.
Lack of originality is probably the main criticism that will be levelled at this band, but with such excellent songcraft they’ve made it clear they’re capable of a breath of fresh air, and this should prevent them from stagnating. It’d be all too easy to label themselves as another Architects sound-a-like, but Polaris are a textbook example of doing what works and doing it well, and if their future efforts are as solid as this, perhaps their own Ally Pally headline show won’t be far off.
Written by Lottie Cook (@pixelottie)