The fourth release from Atlanta, Georgia-based Halcyon Way, is called Conquer. It is a fitting title for those who have followed the band, like I have. Their last (full-length) released, the melodic yet varied, Building The Towers, was released in 2010. The disc featured the debut of singer, Steve Braun to the band. With Steve in tow the band created their best release, till now.
To describe Halcyon Way sound, it is one, that can't be defined to one specific genre. For all the melody and epic choruses(Which gets stuck in this reviewer's head!), to downright guttural growling, to progressive nuances heard throughout the disc, Conquer has a little bit of everything for everyone. Those death metal vocals are courtesy of guitarist Jon Bodan, who created the band, and is the main songwriter and bassist, Skyler Moore.
Conquer starts the disc off, with its military like drumming. The death vocals don't take long to surface within Conquer(like Rise to Revise, and Death Of A Dream, off Building The Towers). Web Of Lies is a bit more melodic yet contains plenty of heaviness, and can be seen and heard HERE. The video came out months before the release of the disc. The stop and go frenzied groove of Conceived In Torment, is well played and even during the songs more melodic moments, it does not let up. Check out Home on Youtube, and you will see the other side of Halcyon Way, their signature melodic sound with those touches of progressive metal that I mentioned. I like the opening guitar arpeggio's during the first verse. Steve Braun's(one of the best melodic voices I have listened to), voice is stronger than it was four years ago, and this song showcases his sense of melody and range. He has a very unique voice, and it is definitely a signature part of Halcyon Way, as much as the music itself is. Speaking of the music, this song features a very nice twin guitar solo, something the band does very well, without any excess wankery or showing off. Every song is cohesively written and each part fits seamlessly together. The next two tracks are two of the more thrashier songs on the disc, World Comes Undone and Militant. Notice has to be given to the drumming on these two songs, which is varied, and well played. The latter song features vocals that trade off between clean and growling, and is seamless and not jarring at all.Hatred Is My Cause features my favorite guitar solo on the entire disc, and is a faster but very melodic song. The Poisoned Apple for some reason is a song I can't seem to get out of my head, is it the guitar melody? Or the keyboard(Synth?) melody used in a various parts? Or maybe it is melodic monster that this song is. Like Home earlier on the disc, this song definitely showcases Braun's ability and range. Save Your Tears brings back the heaviness in the form a huge opening guitar riff, that grooves in and out throughout the verses. The song switches from a melodic chorus to an exchange of guttural vocals that add a dynamic to this song. A melodic guitar lead opens Every Second Counts, and the rest of the song follows suit. While having its heavier moments musically, it is a very melodic song with a big chorus. King of Ruin and Eviscerate The Morning Sun are the last two songs on the disc. The first one features one of my favorite guitar intros, I have heard in a long time. This is an almost melodic death metal song with clean vocals. This is NOT Scar Symmetry or Into Eternity, for those of you trying to compare, while I love both of those bands, this is Halcyon Way, with a sound all of their own. Like the songs before it, these songs are still rooted with a sense of melody and combined heaviness. The synced growling and singing on both songs are well done, and may signal something that the band may try more in the future. Listen for the guitar solos, while brief they are very well played.
Has Halcyon Way created their crowning achievement? I would definitely say so, at least until Bodan and company decide to make their next disc. My score may seem high to some of you, but if you are familiar with the band, you will appreciate the effort they have put forth. If you are new to the band, and have an open mind to bands who defy genres, than this is for you.
Halcyon Way is :
Steve Braun - Vocals
Jon Bodan - Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals, Death Vocals
Ernie Topran -Drums
Max Eve - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Skyler Moore - Bass Guitar, Death Vocals
Killing Songs :
|Joel quoted 91 / 100|
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