Nova Scotia has yet another strong player in the east coast metal scene. New to the community that has already produced the likes of Orchid’s Curse, Last Call Chernobyl and Black Moor, Halifax’s AFTRR is a relatively unknown entity whose self-titled first album will attract many ears with a daunting style of blackened death metal.
The album provides many combatting elements that will have you surrounded by the flames of it’s vile vocals and putrid, blasting drums. The lucid trance of it’s guitar work is captivating, with each track providing an interesting contrast of riffs that shapeshift amongst a vast vocabulary of sub-genres. Over the albums arch, which is primarily influenced by the droning crescendo of traditional black metal, the band throws in a series of wrenches that catch you off guard in it’s otherwise gloomy headspace.
Tracks like ‘Across The Red Room’, ‘Blood On The Coke’ and ‘Slaves To The Metropolis’ incorporate groovy thrash and sludge elements that further muck up the already murky waters the album treads. Elements of stoner metal randomly alter the flow of the compositions, keeping listeners focused and on their toes. These pieces fit perfectly around the rebellious subject matter of these sections.
Opposingly, tracks such as ‘Vain Pursuits in Omniscience’, ‘Riding Upon Tank Treads Towards The Future’ and ‘Drowning In The Oasis’ give us lighthearted, paced doses of atmospheric death-metal notes that further elevate your mind into the grey clouds that hang overtop of the music. The album intelligently avoids abusing chaotic, shredding guitars with moments that provide a short psychedelic trip that swiftly washes your mind with an intoxicated state. These tracks provide the enlightened side of the album’s ying-yang relationship that never ceases to lull within itself.
AFTRR is an intriguing new attraction that will become a well-rounded and thoroughly enjoyed edition to Halifax’s league of metal titans. With a relaxed boundary surrounding their creative field, there are few limits on how this band will expand. Expect them to be alive and well for years to come.