Combining progressive metal with post-hardcore, Russian/Australian quartet Galleons crafted a unique sound with their debut full-length ‘Dream Machines’ in 2018.
Returning with ‘Metropolis’, the group delve deeper into unconventional song structures and harness the soulful vocal delivery of Thomas John Byrne (also of Valiant Hearts) to deliver a dense and rewarding sophomore release.
Launching into ‘New Horizons’, the quartet attack post-hardcore with a plethora of twisting guitars, choppy breakdowns, and unrelenting energy. As both Byrne and unclean vocalist Sergey Rodionov switch between one another effortlessly, it becomes clear that ‘Metropolis’ doesn’t want to play it safe.
After the dizzying opener, ‘Elsewhere’ continues with its disregard for the rule book; utilising jazz based keys and falsetto vocals, the track veers between blue eyed soul and power pop effortlessly. Finishing the varied trilogy of openers, ‘Cybersex’ delivers a meaty tremolo riff as urgent screams bounce off juddering drum beats and a spattering of chiptune synths.
Initially, the main focus of the record appears to be Byrne‘s smooth vocal delivery, but as the record progresses, it becomes clear that instrumentalists Evgeny Starshinov and Max Shepelyov have created ambitious soundscapes that push the record further into experimental yet accessible territories.
This is highlighted on ‘Visavis’. Opening with stomping guitars, the track soon divulges into prog-influenced riffs before gliding into a smooth jazz style verse. With an astute ear for melody, they take a messy concept and makes it work easily.
The same can also be said for the title-track, an expansive song that veers between intimate piano melodies, and bursts of aggressive growls and roaring guitars. Highlighting the strong melodic understanding that runs through the record, guitars and brass solos play off one another seamlessly before jumping into a soaring coda.
Clocking in at over an hour, ‘Metropolis’ runs the risk of being bloated, with 15 dense tracks all fighting for attention. The record presents a lot to unpack, from the rolling bass lines of ‘King Neptune’ to the simple yet effective ‘Gospel’, there are many moments that can be overlooked upon the first play through.
With a plethora of hooks and versatility, Galleons have created a record that deserves a wider audience. By taking a cut throat approach to structure and a devil may care attitude to genre, ‘Metropolis’ is a record that continues to give back with every listen.