Assimilate was a band I had no familiarity with before receiving an early copy of their album to review by a good friend of ours. So, I am going into this completely blind, other than the fact that I know Jon usually sends us pretty decent stuff. After checking out the first track just to get an idea, it seems they are definitely metal, probably closer to metalcore or alt-metal. If you’re into that sort of style, check this out with me!
The opening track, ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, is an odd one for me. It is, for all intents and purposes, an intro track. It’s a minute-and-a-half in length and serves as a slow build of guitars and vocals. However, the second half features a steady drumbeat, some admittedly awesome keys, and then harsh vocals and distorted guitars. It would have been a great track in of its own but stops massively abruptly after that first heavy part and heads into something completely different for the start of the next track. It feels like it doesn’t know if it wants to be an intro track or a fully-fledged song, so does half of both. It’s good but odd.
The opening riff for ‘Limerence’ is awesome and heavy as anything. The vocals soon come in over the top, swapping between powerful harsh screams and nu/industrial metal style cleans. The chorus is more open and pretty catchy, especially with the awesome high harmonies on the vocals. The drums are still working overtime to keep it heavy throughout, though, which is awesome. Heck, even the clean parts of the verses are massively catchy. I’m loving this so far! The short bridge/breakdown is pretty decent, the harsh vocals coming in over the top. We then get a final, huge chorus to take us home. This was great, and makes the playlist!
‘Parasites’ momentarily slows things down a little with a rather beautiful clean guitar riff to open it. The heaviness picks up a little with some chuggy, distorted guitars coming in behind the riff. The clean vocals also join for the verse. It then heads into a fantastic, heavy chorus, the vocals staying catchy and memorable even when they head into screams. The guitar riff behind it all is maybe the best bit though, it’s such a good riff!
We then get an even catchier second chorus afterwards, reminding me a lot of the track before with the high clean vocals and even higher harmonies. The breakdown riff coming out of it is awesome and the callout isn’t half bad for it either. We then get a double clean chorus before a slow, AWESOME breakdown takes us home in fantastic, heavy style. I LOVED this, the musicianship and songwriting was amazing. Playlisted!
‘Blood Hands’ has a great riff running through it but follows a very similar structure to ‘Limerence’, even down to the alternating clean and harsh vocals in the verses. There was a pretty nice little guitar solo in it, though. The album’s title track feels a little different, the opening riff giving off ‘Limerence’ vibes but the structure of it being a lot closer to ‘Parasites’. Both are good, catchy songs, but I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern. That definitely isn’t a bad thing, especially for a debut album, it just means I have less to talk about with them!
‘Deathwish’ starts going harder than any of the tracks before, it giving off more of a thrash vibe than anything else with quick guitars and powerful, harsh vocals. It still provides another very catchy, radio-friendly chorus though, and maybe my favourite one on the album. The breakdown is another awesome one, too. The exact same praise and analysis can be given to ‘Incisions’ and ‘Nihilist’. The intro of ‘Nihilist’ is a definite highlight though, heading straight into a HEAVY guitar riff and screams. Good Stuff!
The clean verse in ‘Amnesia’ was a nice touch and made the heavier pre more impactful. We still get a clean chorus afterwards, though at this point I feel like a heavier one might have been a better call, mixing it up a little bit. It’s a good chorus, though, and there’s enough heaviness throughout the track still to carry it.
Then there is the final track, the 7-minute epic ‘Everything Ends’. It feels similar in structure and feel to the likes of Bullet’s ‘The End’ and Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates’, slow through the verses but with some huge, distorted parts in there too. The extended stripped-back part in the middle added some great dynamics to the track and built up perfectly back into another epic final double chorus. The final minute being a beautiful, slowly fading soundscape of synth and piano was a perfect way to close it too, harkening back to the opener. A great track to sign off with!
Overall: This was great! A fantastic blend of heavy riffs, screamed vocals, and massive, catchy cleaner choruses. The band has definitely found a new fan in me and I cannot wait to hopefully see them live locally in the new year! I’m excited to see where they go from here!
The Score: 7.5/10
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