Review: Polaris - The Death of Me
Polaris are a fast rising metalcore band from Sydney, Australia that has garnered an abundance of positive acclaim and a swell off support in the metalcore community in a very short period of time. The band burst onto the scene with their 2017 debut record The Mortal Coil which feature's many of the hallmarks of the modern djent metalcore style with some post-rock soundscapes added in for a bit of differentiating. The band has rapidly acceded the ranks amongst a plethora of Australian core bands that are currently dictating the direction of the genre for much of the rest of the world. With their debut record out of the way, the band comes into their second effort with much more pressure on them to deliver on the potential they showed in their first release. Will the band succeed in setting themselves apart from their peers? Let's take a listen to The Me and find out.
The album kicks off with Pray for Rain, which features a reflective spoken monologue before jumping into a great opening riff played tightly and precisely, showcasing the bands technical chops while not treading on August Burn Red's territory as the previous record occasionally did. Secondly we get one of the records singles, Hypermania, which displays a bit of a different style from the band drawing comparisons to Norma Jean, this is one of the bands best and hardest-hitting tracks to date and an excellent single choice. Vocalist Jamie Hails gets a chance to shine as a clean singer on the track Masochist, revealing he has the ability and range to carry a track with his voice. Masochist is a very well-written song and shows a great maturation in the bands approach to creating and conveying a different range of emotions within their music.
The final single of the album, Landmine, closes out the trio delivering a groovy and thrashy crowd-pleaser. At the tail end of the track we get some beautiful melodic riffing before a full-on assault blast beating battering ending closing out one of the most standout pieces on the record. The album moves along with Vagabond which show's the bands obvious nu-metal influence, something we really haven't heard from Polaris before. The chorus is very clean and memorable while giving off a strong Sevendust vibe before finishing with a bouncy head bang educing riff and short but sweet solo. If the screaming were removed from this track it sounds like it has the makings of a very successful rock radio song and we mean that as a compliment to the groups writing ability. Creature's of Habit is a personal favorite of mine. As a fan of riff heavy metalcore bands, this track is packed full of undeniably fantastic riffs both crunchy and melodic perfectly toeing the line between chaotic and clean. This is one we'll be going back to over again.
Above My Head once again sees the band take a bit of a new approach, while not exactly a soft song it follows some similar chord progressions to heavier A Day To Remember songs. Once paired with a very good chorus, it feels like this one was made to be chanted by their fans in a live setting. Songs like this are always necessary in a bands arsenal if crowd participation is at all important to your act. Martyr (Waves) is the closest thing to a ballad that Polaris has ever written and they managed to pull it off quite eloquently with an introspective and gentle touch. All of This is Fleeting is ideal to follow the previous track as it delivers of heavy chugging breakdown that standout as perhaps the best of the album and one that will get any fan moving immediately. The album fittingly closes with The Descent loaded with heavy groove and raw screams but not lacking a very well played melodic riff playing in the background while the chaos ensues.
This album is listed at 41 minutes but it was so enjoyable to listen to that it seemingly breezed right by giving in the replay ability that makes an album truly special. Polaris continues to rocket up the ranks of Australian metal showing they can perhaps transcend the Australian scene and become a breakout band around the world. I would like to give some fair criticism of this record but there really isn't many to be had. Perhaps sometimes the bands more progressive leaning material can sound a bit similar to August Burns Red but it's rare and takes nothing away from the record. Polaris showcases the broadest range of stylistic talents of their careers showing a propensity for excelling at more styles than their previous record The Mortal Coil. It's very difficult for a young band to deal with hype and pressure but Polaris has done so better than anyone could have imagined and delivered with a fantastic record. The Death of Me gets a 4 out of 5 from us.