A few years ago, while browsing on youtube, I stumbled upon a music video. It was for a song called “Towers” and performed by a band that I had never heard of before. After the song ended I thought to myself, “damn that song was good”. A few weeks later I listened to it again, did some research on the band, and found out that a few of the members were previously in a band that Mike Thall had introduced to me, a band called By Blood and Iron. It was interesting to find this out because about a year before hearing “Towers” I had been obsessed with By Blood and Iron’s song “The Infernal Offering”. Needless to say, this new band was ERRA. Ever since this discovery, I have been listening to ERRA’s music, and based on their two ep’s and one album I have come to the conclusion that this is what metalcore should sound like in the 2010’s.
On Tuesday, October 29th ERRA released their second full length album titled “Augment”. This album really continues to expand on the sound they had established on their previous releases. For those unfamiliar with the band, ERRA’s sound is more or less a melting pot of brutality, technicality, and melody. “Augment” demonstrates all of these elements perfectly. Garrison Lee’s vocals are incredibly heavy. He really focuses on death metal style lows but does not shy away from hardcore yelling every so often. This album also features some of the most crushing breakdowns of 2013. The breakdowns in “Rebirth” and “Prometheus” are comparable to the explosion of an Atom Bomb. The drumming is top notch on this release. Alex Ballew’s complex rhythms truly complement the technical riffing of Jesse Cash. “Hybrid Earth” is merely one example of this band’s ability to create a technical juggernaut. For such a young band, these guys also have an impressive understanding of melody. The use of synth in “Pulse” blends with the melodic guitar riffs to create an almost transcendent feeling in the song. If you were a fan of ERRA’s previous album “Impulse” then be sure to add “Augment” to your collection as well.
In many ways this album demonstrates the band making some major improvements since “Impulse”. The production seems to have been toned down on this release. Unlike their last album, every instrument can be heard clearly in the mix. Within the first 15 seconds of the album, the listener can tell that ERRA actually has a bassist. Songs such as “Pulse” and “Ultraviolet” even have standout bass-lines. Second, Jesse Cash’s clean vocals have improved tremendously. The only problem I ever had with this band, and many others in the pit agree, were the clean vocals. On “Impulse” the cleans were way too overproduced. On this new album, the autotone was definitely toned down, yielding a much raspier and more authentic sounding vocal performance from Cash. Finally, the overall songwriting has improved on “Augment”. There are 12 tracks totaling around 52 minutes. Not to mention the album closer, “Dementia”, has epic written all over it. There is really nothing negative to be said about this album. ERRA continues to improve with every release. Be sure to check out “Augment” and support these guys.