Album Review: ERRA – Drift

There’s a popular ideology in life that when you come to a fork in the road, the two branching paths end up leading to different outcomes. If you take the left one, it could lead to success while the right one leads to failure, or vice versa. It doesn’t even need to be success or failure as the outcomes; it can legitimately be anything. Two different paths, two different eventual results. I tend to think musicians come to these so called forks multiple times throughout their careers, most notably at the onset of their next album or EP. Progressive metal outfit ERRA have come to this mythical fork and are seemingly at a crossroads, especially after the lackluster Moments of Clarity which saw the band stumble. With the release of their third full length upon us and the first featuring new lead vocalist JT Cavey (ex-Texas In July), the lingering question remains: Was the departure of original members Alan Rigdon and Garrison Lee too much or does Drift see the band regain their footing?

[tw-toggle title=”About ERRA”]
Genre: Progressive Metalcore
Label: Sumerian Records
Release: April 08, 2016
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play

In a recent interview with vocalist JT Cavey and guitarist Sean Price, the question of change was brought up. Their response, while reiterated consistently from musicians on an almost routine basis now days, is extremely spot on. With the amount of bands in today’s scene, there is no reason to not create the music they want to play and do what they want to do. While many fans don’t want to hear their favorite bands shifting away from the sound they fell in love with, it’s a necessary step in the evolution and growth of a band. If you’re a fan of the bands previous technicality and intricacy, do not let their response dissuade you from giving Drift a listen as you’d end up missing one hell of an album. Additionally, if the underlying urge for songs with a semblance of the old style and sound needs to be met, it still exists and the best places to find it lie within “Irreversible” or “Orchid”. While not entirely resembling the sound of Augment or Impulse, it has the vibe and feel of a song that only this band could make.

ERRA – Orchid

Erra // Drift // OUT NOW iTunes: Vinyl / Merch: Amazon: GooglePlay: / ORCHID / LYRICS: As our world oscillates to shake the weak remains, show your strength. Resist all temptation to follow illusions expressed with safety. Open up your wings, and fly to sanctuary.

Doing a track by track breakdown and going over the details and directional shift each song has compared to previous work would be a disservice to the complete package that is Drift. This is an album that shouldn’t be judged based off of what various songs sound like; instead it needs to be heard as a whole to allow the cohesiveness and atmosphere of the album to settle in. Yes, the constant switching of riffs every few measures along with completely original song structures may not entirely be there. Additionally, the heavier instrumental and technical aspects that the band are so well known for are toned down in favor of an overall more melodic approach. That being said, there are newer elements used to indicate the direction for the band, including pitch screaming, more singing, various instrumental elements and solos. This is still an ERRA album at its heart, offering listeners depth with its lyrical content, unforgettable atmosphere and cohesive songwriting; the style is just done in a different manner.

Putting it abruptly, if change in musical direction and style isn’t in your wheelhouse of acceptance, Drift most likely isn’t the album for you. While the style isn’t nearly as drastic as others of recent (Bring Me The Horizon, Northlane, We Came As Romans for example), there will undoubtedly be fan divisiveness with this album. The old ERRA isn’t gone, it’s just evolved into a new sound and direction and is the band showcasing the best of each members’ abilities. For those who can accept musical and directional changes, Drift is an album that displays a new level of musicianship and sets an even higher level of expectations for when their next release comes around.


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