ALBUM REVIEW: Currents – The Way It Ends

Release Date: June 5th 2020
Label: SharpTone Records
Website: www.currentsofficial.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/currentsct
Twitter: www.twitter.com/currentsct

Rating:

Currents‘ second album ‘The Way It Ends’ arrives with plenty of buzz surrounding it, particularly in the metalcore community, and you’ll know which hymn sheet it sings from once you press play.

You’ve heard this before; arena-ready metalcore with enough djent-influenced sections for it to appear on a ‘progressive’ playlist. With Architects reigning as the kings of this kind of metalcore, the door was subsequently opened for dozens more to pop into your consciousness. The Connecticut outfit will have to spread their wings, for sure, as the playing field is so packed that everyone on it may as well be breaking social distancing rules.

‘It Was Never There’ is the clichéd ‘dramatic’ opener that many bands have done, but thankfully there are some positives that appear later on.

‘A Flag To Wave’ picks up a lot of energy throughout with an immediate groove. It’s not really anything new, and the screamed-verse-clean-chorus formula rears its head, but Currents are clearly one of the better bands that do this. With ‘Poverty Of Self’, we get a blast-beat flourish making its way in, coupled with a memorable ending breakdown – this song in particular feels closer to deathcore. There’s enough weight with Currents‘ low-end for it to be enjoyable, but in spite of there being enough positives, the biggest drawback is that this has simply been done to death.

You’ve got to wait a while for the album’s peak, but it’s worth it. The mid-section is where the band move away from the good-cop-bad-cop approach, and lean in further on melody. ‘Let Me Leave’ is the first signs of them doing this, and features a mechanical riff to close things out. Vocalist Brian Willie‘s screams have commendable power, carrying this song in the verses immensely.

Album highlight ‘Origin’ begins a throwback-style synth intro, like an earlier Enter Shikari offering. The groove in this song is particularly weighty, and the transitions feel less predictable on the whole too, which can be a drawback with this kind of music.

‘Split’ continues to mix an Underoath-esque chorus with some heaviness still in tact. Evidently, the band are better when they go for the Northlane approach, with a bit more melody and borderline ambience applied. ‘Better Days’ offers some further welcome low-end too, and if the band stretch the less metalcore-101 parts out further, along with their more melodic passages, then Currents could be on to something.

It may be a while before they form a distinct identity of their own, but there are enough signs of promise that Currents could rise further among the pack based on ‘The Way It Ends’.