Genre: Alternative rock
Anchorage are a progressive rock band hailing from Denver, Colorado. They’ve been together since 2008, and in that time have released two EPs and a full length album. Their full length, Patience, was the most recent album to be released by the band. It’s also the release that they decided to go in a different direction with their sound.
If you are a fan of Anchorage, then the first track on Patience might come as a shock to you. The song, “Shadows,” is a complete 180 from both Truth In Adversity and High Horse. Both of those albums are brutal, fast paced metalcore releases, and the very first track of Patience is considerably more mellow. Now to the important question: How does this new sound work for Anchorage?
The second track, “Time Machine,” has a promising start, with that heavy sound we’re familiar with. It then moves back into the clean vocals. The biggest issue with the vocalist’s clean vocals is that he doesn’t have any dynamic range. They’re, dare I say, a little dull and not full of any passion. There are some harsh yelling vocals incorporated into this track, and many others, which add an appreciated element to the songs.
Most of the tracks include either the yelling vocals and/or unclean vocals. Overall though, most of the time the vocalist is singing. One of the best tracks is “Impressionist,” it’s faster paced, and consists mostly of those yelling and unclean vocals. It’s catchy and has some great guitar rhythms going on. If the whole album sounded a little bit more like this they would have nailed it. A lot of the tracks have some great lyrics as well, and if they had been executed differently, they could make more of an impression on the listener. No pun intended.
One thing these guys did well is the guitar parts. The instruments aren’t very technical in general, but there are quite a few intricate guitar parts that shred through a number of the tracks. Aside from that, there aren’t too many other memorable moments in the album. The band had an opportunity to really push the boundary and create something entirely unique, but they fell short. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because they decided to do more singing instead of screaming – I love plenty of bands who have lightened up over the years. It’s the execution. If their lead vocalist had more passion in his voice and a little bit better of a range, this would be a much better album.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad record to listen to, it’s not very engaging, and it isn’t packed with a lot of originality. I’ve been a fan of the band for a little while, and from a fan’s perspective I’m a little disappointed. If you are looking at this album as a fresh start, and something that is not meant to be a follow up from their previous releases then you might like it. However, if you were hoping for some more of that brutality in their EPs then you will easily be disappointed. I would recommend anyone who’s a fan of progressive/alternative rock to at least give it a shot, and if you like it then definitely be sure to pick it up in the store.
Review written by Kriston McConnell