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8 out of 10
Trustkill is a label that has always managed to keep a blip on my radar, and they've had some great bands on their roster over the years. It’s interesting to see how the label has moved with the times and latest signing Adversary are testament to that.
Straight out of Virginia via Gothenburg, Adversary don’t make any effort to hide their influences, but occasionally, if you’re good enough, you don’t have to. I can hear bits and pieces that shine through from both sides of the Atlantic; from the melodic yet crushing dual guitar attack of In Flames to the scathing rasp of Zao’s Daniel Weyandt, this is straight-out modern metal but with an increasingly rare twist: it’s actually pretty damn good.
Tracks such as opener ’Hedonist’ combine elements of European melodic death metal with modern American metal effortlessly, and are executed with impressive precision. ’The Grand Mistake’ continues the pattern and ends with an absolute beast of a riff that would surely turn the most rigid of crowds into a seething mosh pit.
Further in, and yet more European influences suddenly fly out at me. ’In Vino Veritas’ and ’Manifest Humility’ is a storming pair of tunes that sound like they’re fresh off the Nuclear
’Singularity’ is an album that creates the illusion of being forgettable upon first listen (no thanks to the bottleneck in the US metalcore scene at the moment), but repeated listens and the infectious subtleties slowly worm their way out.
The highlight for me actually comes in the form of an instrumental track. This is certainly no
slight on vocalist William Clapp (in fact his black metal tinged growl is a breath of fresh air amongst a sea of monotonous Howard Jones clones), but the brooding yet distinct ’The Ashes of Faith’ stands out like a monument amongst desert dunes. With driving riffs comes a dominating rhythm that never lets up; with distinct solo work comes a brooding, almost ’Justice’-era Metallica impression.
The next couple of songs sadly pale in comparison, and the album begins to drift in the direction of generic obscurity. It never quite picks itself back up before it ends, but ’Singularity’ does more than enough to hold its own. A very solid album overall, with more than a few hints of greatness that will hopefully come to the fore as the band progress.
I’d actually go as far to say that they are giving some of the bigger names a run for their money. In fact right now, I’ll take ’Singularity’ over current releases from any other American band I can think of who are attempting to play the same style of music. With a number of the more established bands falling into decline and maintaining their positions as flagships as a matter of course, the time has come for some of them (mentioning no names Trivium) to be knocked off their pedestals. Adversary manages to single-handedly walk up to their peers with a copy of ’Singularity’ and say, "stick that in your pipe". For a debut album, that’s pretty damn impressive. This lot should already be huge and with Trustkill’s help, it's surely only a matter of time.
2. The Grand Mistake
4. In Vino Veritas
5. Manifest Humility
6. By Apathy Undone
7. The Ashes Of Faith
8. Dying Art
9. The Romance Of Lies
10. Wisdom In Regret