Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lynchmada - To The Earth

To The Earth
Truth Inc. Records/M.G.M. Distribution

When Gold Coast based metalcore act Lynchmada released their debut full-length effort ‘The Other Mexico’ back in 2007 (Through RabbitBird Records), it was without a doubt a huge step up from their previous E.P. release (2003’s ‘The Biggest Disappointment Is You’, which was released through Ward 69 Records). Over the last four years, the band have maintained their status as one of the Australian metal scene’s up and coming acts with plenty of support slots alongside national and international acts (Lamb Of God, God Forbid, Death Angel and Armoured Saint), which has helped the band keep their name out there on the scene.
Despite having undergone some changes in personnel in the last couple of years (Vocalist Joel Harris and guitarists Cameron Wallace and Simon Connors are now joined newcomers in ex-Minus Life/Silver Ocean Storm bassist Kent Haines and drummer Daniel Trickett), Lynchmada have  finally managed to put together their highly anticipated sophomore effort ‘To The Earth’. In much the same way their debut was a step up in confidence and quality compared to their E.P. effort, ‘To The Earth’ is another step in the right direction for the Queensland crew in every way conceivable.
Serving primarily as an introductory piece, ‘What Fresh Hell Is This?’ is a slow, heavy and atmospheric piece that features a combination of spoken word and screamed vocals. Although sounding a little stretched out, it does help set the tone of the album.
‘Throat Of Stone’ is up next, and its here that you can tell how far the band has come in their song writing over the last four years. The riffs sound a whole lot more distinctive and varied, and Harris’ combined growls and clean singing (Albeit brief at best) sound a lot more balanced and in sync with one another than ever before.
From here, the band goes straight for the throat with a vengeance on the aggressive mid-paced bruiser ‘Broken Bones’, the groovier sounding ‘Earth I Walk’ and the ever changing twists within ‘Blackout’, which moves from some truly crushing passages to some well written and performed melodic passages.
‘Burial Ground’ is definitely a favourite with its diverse riffing and powerful drumming from Trickett, while ‘Twenty Seven Years’ (Which is preceded by the brief guitar based atmospheric instrumental piece ‘Harbinger’) and the lengthy ‘Relic’ are undoubtedly two of the album’s catchiest and more rock based efforts, and help give the album a sound that really provides plenty of variation in sounds and direction over the whole album.
Another track worthy of singling out is the acoustic ‘City Of Lungs’, which not only showcases Harris’ growth as a vocalist, but also his ability to construct vocal lines that play to the song’s strengths.
While a couple of the songs tend to overstay their welcome, and the opening intro doesn’t quite hit its intended target, ‘To The Earth’ has everything you could possibly ask of a new Lynchmada album. It has stronger song writing, a greater mix of sounds and tempos from one track to the next and a sound that brings out the best in the band’s performances (The band co-produced the album with Nik Carpenter, and had it mixed and mastered by Chris ‘Zuess’ Harris). Lynchmada has every reason to be pleased with their new album, and I’m sure fans will agree wholeheartedly that ‘To The Earth’ is Lynchmada’s strongest release yet.

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© Justin Donnelly