01. White Noise
02. Pattern Interrupt
03. Seven
04. Architect
05. Efflorescent
06. Vaalbara
07. Heart
08. Obscure Words
09. Invent
10. Render the Void

[Tragic Hero Records]

Every now and then a band comes along that just does things right. They may not be completely groundbreaking, but they have just about mastered their craft. For me, Betraying the Martyrs did deathcore the right way. In that same vein, Birmingham, Alabama’s Erra is a prime example of how modern metalcore should sound. They hit all the sweet spots along the way, playing music that sounds like combination of Veil of Maya and Periphery, clean vocals included.

Fans of Periphery may feel right at home with the clean vocals as they sound a bit like Spencer’s on the Periphery debut. Musically, Erra sounds like a slightly less technical, more melodic version of Veil of Maya. Everything fits, everything flows, and it sounds like guitarists Jesse Cash and Alan Rigdon spent a considerable amount of time writing each song, as each transition makes perfect sense. While it is unfortunately hard to differentiate the songs on initial listens, subsequent listens will have you picking out little parts of the songs that just stick in your head, such as the chorus bit in the album’s outstanding closer, ‘Render The Void’, or the main theme in my personal favorite track ‘Efflorescent’.  Stand out track ‘Obscure Words’, with it’s diminished scale runs accompanied by a piano, and third track in, ‘Seven’, contains some of the most catchy riffs you’ll hear for a good while.

This album was a late bloomer for me in 2011. I didn’t give it a proper listen at first because Erra’s previous releases didn’t do anything for me at all. I will say a small downside to this album is the over-reliance on chugging, although it does make the other riffs all that much more sweet when they come in. The production on Impulse is immaculate; everything is audible, the drums hit hard, the guitars sound huge, and the vocals are never drowned out or overpowering. The harsh vocals are pretty much standard fare when it comes to this genre, and the cleans may not suit everyone’s taste at first. Luckily for people who may not like the clean vocals, they aren’t overly abused on Impulse.

Impulse is far from a groundbreaking album. It is, however, a show of how metalcore can be taken to the next level in ways that are not boring or generic. Impulse is an album that has the potential to stand the test of time and not end up dull within a few short months; I’m still listening to it almost daily, nearly two months after release. I, for one, am very anxious to see what Erra have in store for the future. If Impulse is any indication of the progression of the band, we’re all in for a treat.

Erra – Impulse gets…


– AD

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