Erra is a progressive metalcore band from Alabama. Like any progressive band of any sort, they change the way their style of music is played. They make it more complex and altogether they separate themselves from the herd of other metalcore bands out there trying to make music that sounds like the last band’s. Now three albums into their career with the recently released Drift, Erra are out to spread their name even further throughout the metal world.
The main thing that drew me towards Erra was the guitar playing of Sean Price and Jesse Cash. Luminesce, the opening track to Drift, has a wildly impressive guitar riff unlike any I’ve ever heard which carries on throughout the song. Sure it’s practically the same riff over and over again, but the way Erra structure the song around the riff immediately convinced me that this was no ordinary metalcore band. Sleeper and the title track Drift also have guitar work that goes above and beyond expectations, but that shouldn’t take credit away from what his guitar magic does for every song on the album.
Like any metalcore band, Erra‘s vocals are mostly screaming growls done by vocalist JT Cavey. I guess bands see this as the way to put themselves a little over the top in terms of their music’s intensity, though I’d think they’d be just as metal with cleaner and more original vocals. Jesse Cash provides clean vocals on every song, and these are quite frankly the best moments on every song. His voice kind of sounds like a polished pop singer’s voice, but he puts forth so much power that, mixed with the guitar playing, makes songs from Drift such as Continuum, The Hypnotist, Irreversible, Orchid and Hourglass all great tunes despite the fact that most of the vocals are harsh growls.
Two songs that really separate Erra from the metalcore heard Safehaven, and epic six minute track and Skyline which is the closest thing to a ballad that Drift has. Safehaven has a little bit of everything: a practically even mixture of clean and harsh vocals, incredible guitar riffs and solos and some fierce drumming by Alex Ballew. I may be a little off calling Skyline a ballad, as it is still a heavy as all hell track with a lot of intensity, but it seems to wear its heart on its sleeve a little more visibly than any other song on Drift.
Drift is surely one of the best, and certainly one of the most intelligently constructed metalcore albums I’ve ever reviewed. Erra‘s progressive approach to songwriting is unlike much of anything I’ve ever heard. A debt of gratitude goes towards the powerful clean vocals and the music behind the vocals. It’s these two ingredients that make Drift an album that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
“Luminesce” – Rightfully placed at the beginning of Drift, this is the song that I believe will have the same impact on other impressionable listeners as it did to me thanks to just about everything about it, from the mixture of clean and harsh vocals to the unforgettable guitar playing.
7.5 (Out of 10)