You know those days when you get a migraine so large you don’t want to function? Yeah, that’s today in a nutshell and I was NOT ready to listen to anything that wasn’t about to sooth my soul. Surprisingly though, I didn’t find my usual choice of cheesy T-Swizzle* songs or the wonders of Dave Brubeck to calm me quite as much as the new Altars album did.
Opposition is the first album for Altars since their recent signing with Strike First Records and these Colorado Springs natives have truly given it their all. The six track album opens with an instrumental tune titled “ Opposition” that features a really solid, heavy beat that stays pretty straight until the end, which is kind of a giant breakdown. Not too much to think about till the song “Advocate” comes around with Mike Searle growling “Who do you think you are?!” and the double-base pedal takes control. The drum combinations have a lot of style to them and the guitar really helps mend the fine line of the metal transition into hardcore. My favorite part of the song would have to be the hardcore breakdown where Chad Ruhlig of Legend lends his vocals in the song.
I really enjoy the beginning of “Severance” with the drumming fall-downs and tastefully done guitar, the less chunking the better. I like how the pain in the vocals makes you imagine the vocalists in different corners of the room, with music that makes you want to paint a picture of what could possibly be happening. It’s such a back-and-forth song it’s almost playful but does bring the point it’s trying to make with differing views on society. The breakdowns are super heavy in this song, no holding back whatsoever. “The Struggler” comes along as really pointing out the authenticity of Searle’s voice that is captured in this track. His growl really complements the heaviness of the track.
The guitar in “Heresy” stood out compared to all the other tracks but the track itself didn’t. The song sounded like a giant breakdown, which would have been great if it didn’t sound like the other songs’ breakdowns. But like I said, the guitar part really shined and had its own distinctive attribute to the album. “Volition” is the perfect final track to the album where the band dishes everything they have out metaphorically mirroring how “Christ gave His life, so give Him yours.” Perfect way to end the album with a solid message.
Though most of the breakdowns were solid, I could live without 80% of them. The album leans towards sounding like a giant breakdown. The band doesn’t really strike me as unique, but I see only good things to come for them. The “I won’t let go theme” in this album is really refreshing to hear, as not many bands try to capture that in their music anymore. Truly shows how passionate the Altars are about spreading their message of their Faith.
*Taylor Swift for those non-believers