Look who's back! ERRA have just signed a record deal with the juggernaut Sumerian Records, through which they've released a brand new EP entitled "Moments of Clarity". That EP just came out today and it's now available for streaming in it's entirety through the Sumerian Records YouTube (though you'll have to manually click through the tracks, currently).
There's no doubt this is among the most anticipated underground metalcore releases this year. This is especially true for our followers, who claimed ERRA as their champion is last year's Metal Madness. ERRA have been steadily traveling the road to metallic glory, putting out a number of releases since their inception in 2009 (not to mention their run under the moniker of By Blood And Iron). This venture to success has been paved with a sweet, Progressive Metalcore sound capable of flawlessly blending supreme heaviness with a melodic approach. But the real cherry on top has always been the band's musical aptitude. Every member (past and present) brings something special to the table. They've proceeded as a cohesive and intelligent musical unit, standing strong year for year. Previous releases include last year's "Augment", 2011's "Impulse", and their dual 2010 EP's "Andromeda" and the self-titled "ERRA".
Now has come the time for "Moments of Clarity". This EP provides a total of five tracks delivering, more or less, exactly what we've come to expect from ERRA. In fact, I'd say this is probably their most consistent release to date in that not much has changed. If you had told me these were tracks intended to be on the band's previous release, "Augment", I would probably believe you. Hell, even the artwork looks as if it was taken from the same concept. But if you take a step back, there's good reason for this…
"Moments of Clarity" is the band's first release without vocalist Garrison Lee and guitarist Alan Rigdon. Consequently, Ian Eubanks has taken up the helm as ERRA's front man. We actually caught his first ever live performance with the band over the Summer if you're looking for more (WATCH HERE). It's safe to believe that the band intended to test the waters with their new vocalist. This coupled with their recent signing with Sumerian Records is most likely why they put out an EP as opposed to a full-length album. If you take notice, this is a common move made in the metal community when a band reaches for a new sound or experiences significant line up changes as ERRA has. Just to reiterate, I said these tracks could practically be "Augment" tracks. This is a good thing because Ian Eubanks does a great job of picking up where Garrison Lee left off vocally. I can't speak for the lyrics but his voice might even be mistaken for Garrison's by those who are ignorant to the switch.
All of that aside, let's take a more direct look at the music showcased on this EP. "Dreamcatcher" opens up the experience, working diligently as a single for the release. It lets you know exactly what you're getting yourself into while tickling the ears with greatness. "Warrior" is probably the heaviest track on the EP while "Lights City" is the most melodic. But, as to be expected, both offer a dynamic experience. "Our Translucent Forever" is another heavier selection with driving melodies. And last, but certainly not least, the title track closes out "Moments of Clarity" brilliantly. But don't take my word for it. Give them all a good listen for yourself.
Production wise, "Moments of Clarity" is spot on. You can easily pick up and peel apart every layer of the music with the proper listening apparatus. The clarity of sound is always welcome. But let's be honest – ERRA hasn't had too much trouble with this in recent history.
I don't really have any qualms with recommending this release. It's a great, functional output of music from ERRA. Part of me wishes that it wasn't so sonically close to "Augment". But on the other hand, I can certainly understand why it is. This is the kind of band that will continue to grow and create outstanding music. It's safe to say this is a great EP from a great band that does not disappoint. You should go ahead and give a listen (if you're not already), especially if Progressive Metal / Metalcore happens to be your cuppa tea. If you enjoy, be sure to grab the music while you still can (limited physical release) and show ERRA your support!