The genre of metalcore must have skipped me. I remember it starting up, and bands I'd never heard of dropping albums, but until I started seeing the slew of bands that tour in the genre in the past decade, I wasn't really that plugged into the genre's world. That being said, a lot of the metalcore I've caught in person over the years has been a bit boring and formulaic. That was, until I caught Galveston's An Author, a Poet. The five piece has a crazed energy to their live sets, and on their latest release Reset // Restore, they bring that energy to each and every song.
Opening with the storied and slower beginning of "Blind Faith," there are these faint whispers underneath the instruments that are a precursor of what's to come. The technically proficient riffs that come in sound like a machine gun before the songs opens up and really blooms. There's dual vocals that add an intensity to the track without deterring too much from the heaviness within. This continues onto the second track, the intense and dark sounds of "In My Eyes." There's a nice flow that occurs on this song, and honestly throughout the whole record, where it never feels off-center or disjointed. The songs have a nice rhythmic stride, never feeling like on most metalcore albums where there's that one track that ruins the whole experience.
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While the band does slow things down a bit for the opening of the song "Courage," that doesn't mean that they lose any intensity while the energy of the sound seeps through like water through the cracks of a floor. That flowing nature is all over the song, placing these guys so far ahead of many in the genre. The title track, "Reset//Restore," keeps that stream going, offering a slower beginning that hits like a sledgehammer to the face when the band changes direction and offers up their heavier side. There's a catchy nature to the track that gives you more than just the typical heaviness that often drags such songs into an abyss of guitar riffs and screams.
The eighth track, "Leaves Like Paint" has such a solid pace to it, that it makes you wonder if these guys could teach other metalcore acts how to incorporate the same structure into their songs. While you can go into the past of the genre and find the same sound, there's a balance found here between heavy and melodic that works better than I've heard in a good while. The secondary vocals only add to the depth here, giving the band a more rounded out sound that just works. This keeps going for the final tracks of the record, and with album closer "Temporary," these guys utilize a different structure that's pretty fierce. There are moments in the song they stay melodic while the harsh vocal screams and heightened guitar and drum prowess cannot be denied.
The result here is a band that's easily on their way to something larger than just performing in and around the Galveston and Houston areas. By adding plenty of melody and rhythm to their songs, An Author, a Poet will make anyone who hears them an immediate fan. You can stream the record on all digital platforms, or order a copy from Cardigan Records. You can catch An Author, a Poet when they perform in Galveston on April 7 at the VFW Hall. The all ages show will have performances from A Sounding Sea, Distance Here, and many more. Doors at 5 p.m.; tickets $8.