Having recently toured with Architects, Aussie metalcore outfit Polaris‘ profile has certainly been rising in the last few years following their 2017 debut, ‘The Mortal Coil’.
Their second full-length album, ‘The Death Of Me’, should arrive with plenty of excitement and anticipation among fans.
‘Pray For Rain’ is a strong enough opener. Starting from a clean intro and programmed drums, it builds very strongly, and it certainly has plenty of attack throughout.
‘Hypermania’ has some bounce to it and some strong enough riffing, but there’s one common pitfall that unfortunately prevails all too often – all of this has been done before, and you’ve more-or-less heard the entire album within only a handful of tracks.
It’s clear that this is very well performed and executed for what it is, but unfortunately much of this is too far on the generic side of things. Whilst some tracks are good enough on their own, such as ‘Landmine’, consistency largely eludes this record. It’s also virtually impossible to talk about this album without mentioning the ‘A’ word. With the similarities to Architects being glaringly obvious at times, you only hope the next record will help to separate them from the pack.
And when ‘Vagabond’ does stand out a bit, it’s a welcome highlight. Reminiscent of when Linkin Park used to deliver undeniable choruses, this song certainly succeeds on that front.
‘Creatures Of Habit’ again sounds promising, but ultimately falls short, and it’s all the more frustrating when you realise that this band are clearly talented in their own right. Just when you detect a positive, you find yourself switching off just as quickly.
Most of these songs have good moments that don’t extend themselves, perhaps due to the good-cop-bad-cop vocal approach employed by Jamie Hails. He does show his impressive range in ‘All Of This Is Fleeting’, but there’s simply not enough here to convert any sceptics to this take on metalcore.
It’s also a bittersweet point that closer, ‘The Descent’ is probably the best song on offer here. It goes to different places, feels fluid, and showcases a lot more ambition than what’s come before; a memorable chorus, dynamic shifts, and a very striking ending are all on show.
Whilst much of this album adheres rigidly to its blueprint, Polaris have still delivered one of the best attempts at this sound for some time. If they keep stretching the formula that bit more, they could be onto something.
If you’re into contemporary metalcore, you’ll no doubt enjoy ‘The Death Of Me’, and there’s plenty of room for the band to grow still.