For Fans Of
Some things should just never come be brought into this world. Like a Guns’ N’ Roses reunion, Emoji’s and Selena Gomez’s latest album are just a few examples of things that should have never see the light of day. But they did (at least two of those – don’t you do it Slash) and this world of ours is worse off for it. However, there are some things that do deserve to have their time in this meaningless vat of existence. Whereas, something like Half-Life 3 and a new album from Far West Battlefront are just two of these, and thankfully the latter is upon us
After a line-up change sand with almost 18 months slowly baking away in the oven, Far West Battlefront’s tastiest release to date is about to drop like a fucking atom bomb on the local scene. Crushingly heavy and brutal, yet melodic and groovy, tight and clean yet viscous in it’s delivery, ‘Status Cross’ is an album that is leagues ahead of their previous material, both in the song-writing and the mix departments. This reviewer doesn’t want to live in a world where this record wasn’t released, and it came really close to never being released. We’re extremely thankful that that’s not the case, because this is essentailly the best goddamned heavy release of 2015.
Sure, a near-perfect score is enough to warrant massive over-hype on our part, but this reviewer truly feels that this is one of the few records, if the only one, of 2015 to deserve such a praise. We’ve had so many great releases from Aussies this year; I, Valiance, Hellions, Thy Art Is Murder, I Am Zero, Earth Caller, Parkway Drive – the list just goes on. Well, now you can add Far West Battlefront right to the very top of that list as this album just leaves so many other releases for dead.
‘Pale Horse’ is fast, unrelenting and somehow very groovy track, first single ‘Tiberian Sun’ is just crushing, yet surprisingly melodic at times, and the opening song, ‘Somerset’, is somehow equal parts punishment and beauty with it’s dry, yet surreal whispered clean vocals contrasting with the huge blasting drums and heavy screams. To some that might sound messy, but it’s not and it all works. These cleaner, and more serene moments show up many a time across the 13 songs and more so than you’d think. The clean vocals really do add another dynamic layer to the band’s music and it never once feels forced or utilised simply for commercial ends. For instance, ‘A Fire Inside’ and ‘Elysian‘ weave in a quality amount of melody (both in the guitars and vocals) and brutality that the band offer up frequently in their sophomore effort. That’s really the best part of this record, it’s so familiar but also so different in it’s execution and structure that it makes for a very refreshing listen.
Another goodie, ‘Eldritch Light’ (a name that gives off all kinds of Bloodborne/Lovecraftian vibes) has a rather upbeat intro to it, but soon becomes the biggest chug-fest of the album, and it only gains in momentum and scope from there on in. In fact, the heavier songs constantly build and refine themselves as they go along, so much so that the album never once becomes a chore, which is always a huge criticism of this style of music. Shit, even the briefer songs like ‘i Nyx‘, and the weird, haunting title track, both of which will catch many people off guard, yet they all feel so necessary.
‘Status Cross’ is a shining, brilliant example of how A LOT of time and a plethora of hard work can yield the greatest of creations. It’s as heavy as Thy Art’s ‘Holy War’ and I, Valiance’s ‘The Reject Of Humanity’, as melodic as Make Them Suffer’s ‘Old Souls’ and as atmospheric as Northlane’s ‘Node’. A weird mix, yes, but at almost 50 minutes in length and with not a single miss-step, here is your album of the year. This is a record that shows the best parts of the what Australian metal scene can and has been doing, and takes it that one step further. Promise to never leave us again, aye Far West Battlefront?
2. Absolutions Arrival
3. Pale Horse
5. Seek Misery
7. A Fire Inside
8. God Particle
9. Eldritch Light
10. i Nyx
11. i Erebus
12. Status Cross
13. Tiberian Sun