(Trustkill Records 2008)Adversary - Singularity

Let's face it: youngsters just love to give the finger to their elders. And there's no better way to do just that than to walk the path of one's forbears, and then top them in humiliating fashion. Such is the mission of Adversary, to take what their inspirations - Slayer, Lamb of God, In Flames - have given them, and then blow those bands out of the water.

Adversary have one foot firmly in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal and the other planted in the reeking, maggot infested corpse of metalcore. Reading that last word probably makes you want to either weep openly or run screaming. But wait, Adversary are miles removed from the preening silliness of the white belt and women's jeans-wearing set that made most metalheads question the meaning of life circa 2004. Sure, vocalist William Clapp mixes plenty of clean singing in with his impressive collection of grunts and snarls, but it's more about genuine musicality than just sounding pretty. Plus, the more tuneful moments are leavened by huge heapings of thrash noodling and wall to wall redlining groove. Guitarists Kenny Harrison and Brad Ryder play with double leads and trade off face-ruling solos in between bouts of machine gunning riffs all over the place. Adversary measure out large servings of melody, aggression, and technicality, nearly balancing the scales perfectly.

While bands like Trivium and All That Remains are content to stay the metalcourse en route to higher album sales (Seriously, the last ATR record shifted well over 200,000 units. I didn't believe it either, but look it up. Do it.), Adversary err on the side of extremity and, ya know, better music. The result is a highly infectious slab of metal that reaches forward while looking into the past. "Singularity" is an ambitious debut from a band eager to push metal into new directions. Adversary leave just a bit too much connective tissue dangling from the bones of the bands they take their cues from, though; if they can sever the tendons completely, this is a band that has the capability to make a true monster.


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