Any label is only as good as its own roster, but at the same time, a roster is only going to grow and evolve with the backing of a solid label and leadership. Atilla frontman Chris Fronzak aka Fronz knows what it takes to build a reputable brand in the music industry and has done exactly that with his budding record label Stay Sick Recordings. The label is littered with above average talent and sounds, fitting a niche that many of the old guard seem to slowly be straying away from. One such band is metalcore newcomers Vesta Collide who had only released two singles prior to their signing, which left many skeptical and unsure of what to expect from their debut album. Those fears can be subsided though as the band has managed to craft an album in New Obsession that has become just that.
Digging straight into it, New Obsession is the exact step forward in sound that metalcore needs from fresh blood in the genre. Vesta Collide take what works from the staples of the genre while making it their own through the utilization of massive melodic choruses that will stay in your head for days, visceral breakdowns that get the heart pumping and haunting electronics which add in a dose of atmosphere. This results in the finished product being more extremely memorable and long lasting — surely to be an early year standout record of the genre. The overall sound is metalcore at its finest, but there’s an innate dose of variety and polish that prevent the record from ever feeling stale or repetitive.
To accomplish this, there’s a few style switches that help keep the sound from blending, such as the nu-metal tinged “I Can’t Sleep”, the haunting “Witching Hour” or the relentless “Monster Blood”. Vesta Collide even breaks out of their shell entirely with the ambient and emotional driven “Away From Here”, which gives listeners a moment of solitude from the chaos and mayhem, further showing how they are no one trick pony. Vocally, New Obsession stands atop as one of metalcore’s rising stars. The screams are the most noteworthy aspect with there being a surprising amount of variety from shrieking highs, brutal lows and ferocious mids. While the band is unquestionably metalcore they are able to keep the instrumentation fresh with engaging leads and catchy riffs. Don’t be fooled by any of this as the album is chock full of breakdowns and pulsating double bass, but at the same time each song has such a unique take to it that each sound is instrumentally differentiated.
Whether it’s the softer, somber side through soaring cleans or the heavier, hard hitting side that gets people rowdy, New Obsession is a fantastic debut that any metalcore fan should not sleep on. The record takes the best from the past while injecting enough variety into it that it’s a showcase of how to evolve on the stereotypical metalcore sound. Looking at the overall aspect of Stay Sick Records now, it’s no wonder Vesta Collide was picked up as they look to be one of their most promising additions thus far as this record is proof that they belong and upon release, there’s no doubt that the only direction they’ll be headed is up.