When it comes to making music, I can’t begin to fathom what goes through a musicians’ head – from the ideas and innovations they want to pursue all the way to the perfectionist attitude they undoubtedly have towards their baby. After all, whatever they’re working on generally is about to be released for the entire world to have a chance at listening to so of course you’d want it to be perfect. That apparently is part of the mindset that British DnB / Rock act The Qemists had leading to a 6-year gap since their last album, Spirit in the System. In an interview published March 2015, the band even said as much; indicating they wanted to take time with the record and develop the sounds and ideas they had in their head and push the boundaries of the group forward. Now after this painstakingly delay for fans, Warrior Sound is set to drop on March 4th.
Admittedly, I’ve never intently listened to the bands previous work so I’ve done some back listening to better understand the bands evolution of sound. This helps me better answer a pivotal question right away – how does it stack up against their previous sound and were these boundary pushing ideas worth the delay? To answer that quickly, it stands up admirably, but seemingly falls short of what they were aiming for. The album opens with a one-minute intro called “Our World” that builds and sets the tone with a message about what drives our world. It then transitions nicely into the first full on track, “Jungle” which features up and coming nu-metal act Hacktivist. Using a guitar riff as the opening of the track, The Qemists are fully embracing rock elements in a way few other DnB artists do. Not only are they making an attempt at maintaining their old crowd, but they are reaching out to a new one in a way similar to what Pendulum did with Immersion.
Run You is the first single taken from The Qemists’ forthcoming album Warrior Sound. Pre-order Warrior Sound now and get Run You as an instant grat…http://theqemists.lnk.to/WarriorSound Catch The Qemists on tour…
The reference to Immersion is important as tracks like “New Design” and “Push The Line” sound like something the famed band would’ve done back in the day. The last third of the album was the strong point for me, starting with “We Are The Problem”. The message of the songs combined with a heavier usage of grime, synths and pulsating basslines are where the boundaries are seemingly pushed. The album ends with “Requiem” which opens up with a chorus of Oh-oh-oh-ohs and a symphonic, almost angelic arrangement before a hard hitting bassline comes in and takes its spot. Halfway through, the elements combine to create perhaps the catchiest track on the album, and one of the best album closers I’ve heard in the genre ending Warrior Sound on an extremely high note.
While the references to Enter Shikari and more notably Pendulum are prevalent and partially deserved, Warrior Sound is 6 years of labor intensive love that The Qemists have brought forth. They have taken their sound to the next level, incorporating more rock elements, throwing in a few symphonic arrangements and taking a few risks. While the album doesn’t necessarily take the genre to a new level or even present a plethora of new sounds and ideas, it does raise the bar for the band themselves and overall is a respectable attempt at crossing musical boundaries.