This is one of the more interesting albums I have ever reviewed. You have growling vocals, great pure metal choruses and vocals, industrial metal, and everything in between. I had to listen to this album a few times just to get my head around it, there is so much going on. This is an album you really need to be tuned into when listening to it or you will miss so much that is going on in the background. Halcyon Way hails from Atlanta, GA. and “Bloody But Unbowed” is their seventh release between EP’s and LP’s. They have been going strong since 2001.
The album begins with the quick track Deevolutionize which is just under two minutes. An eerie opening lends way to some awesome melodic guitar and then the growling vocals kick in with clean vocals in the background. It is a really unique sound that comes across quite well. This first track leads us into Bloody But Unbowed. A nice guitar riff kicks this song off and leads us into some very nice clean metal vocals. There is also some growling vocals worked into the song as well. The song has a great metal chorus that sounds perfect with the song. The guitar is chaotic in places. This whole song is all over the place, but in a good way. It truly is a great song.
One of the first singles from the album is Blame. This song hits you right in the mouth out of the gate. The music is intense and when the vocals start they are in your face. Once again you have a great straightforward metal chorus with some growling vocals adding some intensity. The song has a bit of an epic feel to it in places. The main vocal parts are very raw. This song is over five minutes long and easily keeps ahold of you for the whole time. There is a crushing guitar solo in the song that is amazing. Another well done song that leaves you wanting more!
Next up we have Slaves to Silicon. This song has a very electronic opening. The guitars kick on over it leaving the song with a very unique feel. The vocals are quite a bit more mellow than the earlier tracks. Halcyon Way really knows how to write great choruses and the whole album is full of them. We get a good bit of growling vocals with this track as well. Steve Braun on clean vocals, and Jon Bodan and Skyler Moore handle the death vocals, and make the perfect trifecta throughout the album. Bodan also handles the lead guitar work and is a very talented guitarist. This is another song that is wonderful to listen to and has so much going on in one song.
Another one of my favorite tracks is Ten Thousand Ways. This is just a great straightforward metal song. There are a lot of great guitar riffs and solos all throughout this song. I think it is the music in the song that really makes it stand out. Mind you the vocals are rock solid, I just like all the different guitar parts. It seems like after every verse there is a guitar solo! As a metal head who loves me some heavy metal guitar, this album really delivers. There is also no growling vocals in this song. Just pure metal to rock you hard. I also like some of the nice harmonizing backing vocals towards the end of the song.
The last song I want to touch on is the six-minute ride, Desolate. This song starts out slow for just a few seconds and then the guitars crash in with a thumping drum beat. The song picks up pace fast. The whole musical intro is about a minute and really brings it. The vocals are softer to start, but they also pick up in intensity. This song really feels like it is moving forward the whole time. Braun is great on vocals, with a lot of different nuances on this song. He also carries some seriously long notes along the way. The drum is crushing is parts and well done by Aaron Baumoel. Growling vocals also are featured in parts and really add to this festival for the ears. When the song ends it is hard to believe it was over six minutes in length.
This has been one of the more interesting albums I have reviewed this year. This album has a lot to offer. It is a raw, in your face metal album from start to finish. It is not death or thrash metal, but it is a very heavy album overall. If you like your metal to be loud and in your face this is a great album for you! You will be treated to twelve tracks and around fifty-one minutes of pure metal!
Pre-order the album HERE.
Follow Halcyon Way on Facebook HERE.