Editor’s Note: This record was released independently last November by the band. Due to their recent signing announcement to Revival Recordings, they are re-releasing the record with a new track + 3 live tracks. This is a slightly updated version and reposting of our review from last year.
Emotion is a key factor in the daily life of everyone from the moment they are born to the moment they pass away. From happiness and overwhelming joy to distress, sadness and ultimately fear, the emotional spectrum ranges far and wide and varies from person to person. One of the more painful experiences of emotion that everyone will ultimately deal with at one point or another in life is grief. From the loss of a close friend, a life-long companion in a pet or a loved one, the stronger a bond those people had, the heavier the emotional impact. Taking this five letter word and putting it into music is how post hardcore outfit Alteras dealt with it as their debut album, Grief, is based on the concept encompassing the aforementioned emotion. With an overarching theme relying on heavy, heartfelt undertones, does the music stack up to the message or does it fall short of getting the it across?
The record starts with a long-time fan favorite track, “Broke” and rightfully so as it proves to be an instant ear-grabber as it utilizes a brief distortion before hard hitting riffs kick in. While the track is incredibly catchy, it’s a standard post hardcore affair with the heavy guitars, pulsating drumming and harsh vocals offset by a catchy, soaring chorus. This leads to one of the overall stranger aspects of Grief and its flow as a record. While understandably a fast-paced and impactful song, “Broke” is also the heaviest song on the record and truly doesn’t represent the sound presented on the album. In fact, the large majority of Grief presents a clean sound through catchy, yet emotionally driven lyricism and a massive dose of sing-a-long choruses, including the newly added track “Oh, Tragedy” which comes across as a completely natural fit.
Alteras — ‘Could Ever Love’– from the album Grief — Available Now! Distributed by Sony Red / Artery Purchase your copy of Grief here: MerchNow: http://goo.gl/prsMJ0 iTunes: https://goo.gl/1YLJkO Google Play: https://goo.gl/WynUwx Amazon: https://goo.gl/N33W5T Click to listen to Alteras on Spotify: https://goo.gl/9Gj64i -Lyrics- I’m unsure what it means to be alone, been so long since I’ve been on my own.
As listeners proceed through Grief, the emotional burden comes to the forefront as the theme and sound of the record become much more apparent. This is accomplished through two similar, yet different methods. First, Alteras utilizes a piano medley or heart-felt orchestral arrangement on many of the songs which helps set the tone not only each track, but the record as a whole. The continuity of these elements throughout each track helps the album have a fuller, richer and blended sound which truly helps the concept of the record soak into listeners’ ears. Secondly, the depth behind the lyrical content stands out admirably as the songs cover various stages of grief; from the struggle of losing someone dear to the mental issues that many deal with on a daily basis. Music is at its finest when it can speak for those who can’t put their own thoughts into words, and that is what this album does best.
Grief ends the same way it begins; with a track that is different enough from the albums overall sound that still fits into the message the band wanted to present. “Feel” is a more positive and upbeat track that doesn’t dwell on the downfalls, but the positivity of what’s left to come. It’s an appropriately fitting end to an album that is as much about the message as it is about the music, which is what an album should be. While this is a record that doesn’t necessarily do anything unique sonically, it excels at what it set out to do; display the various depths of grief and show listeners they aren’t alone in the feeling and struggle, which is what music is really about.