“Turn off my brain / This all feels the same”, the opening chant from ‘Déjà Vu’ pretty much sums up how many of us have felt during this bizarre year. In fact, pretty much all of ‘Violent Allies’, the ninth studio album by Knoxville’s 10 Years, can paint a vivid picture of life in 2020.
The album opens with lead single, ‘The Shift’, which drops us straight in with Jesse Hasek‘s sinister yet soothing voice over a menacing guitar rhythm, making the us feel simultaneously at home and uneasy. The opening lines entice us in, and the chorus line of “We go from silence to sirens” keeps us hooked until the very end.
It’s a bold choice to put a deep, power ballad-esque track as the second song on an album, especially after such a strong opener, but 10 Years have pulled it off with ‘The Unknown’‘Déjà Vu’, a short and energetic track which somehow manages to encapsulate vibes of Slipknot, Iron Maiden, and Creeper. The hauntingly beautiful instrumental interludes, ‘Planets III’ and ‘Planets IV’, provide a brief bit of breathing space while still keeping a haunted and uneasy feel.
‘Sleep In The Fire’ is possibly the heaviest track on the album, with the guitar tone and the strength and simplicity of Brian Vodinh‘s drum groove in the intro making it almost impossible not to head bang to. The song builds to yet another anthemic chorus, with a killer guitar solo to follow.
10 Years have long since outlived their own band name, and with ‘Violent Allies’ they’ve given us proof that they’ll be around for many more decades to come. A brilliant blend of nu-metal and punk with stadium-filling choruses, this is an album that you don’t want to skip.
20/All things Scottish Rock/Emo/Metal