Halcyon Way
Bloody But Unbowed
Agonia Records
★★★★

Atlanta’s Halcyon Way returns as Bloody But Unbowed continues to propel not just the band but metal into the future. There are two concepts that tend to dominate. The first is the unbroken spirit. The title track showcases the strength of this band with traditional metal sweat and muscle. Steve Braun’s warrior vocals stem from years of classically trained vocal posterity. If there was ever a need to impress the listener, this monstrous opener is it.

The song leads into “Blame,” one of the best tracks and an exemplary song from this band. There is a tug of war between the absolute monarchy of the guitars and the contemplative melody of Braun’s internal philosophy. That chorus could not be more hair metal, but lying in the background is hardcore riffs just waiting to powerhouse this song.

The second concept has to deal with technological singularity and a drift into a world succumbed by a reliance on tech. “Deevolutionize” is the intro into this album, and it gives us an indication that as our society moves into the future, we, as humans, are really going backwards. With a complete human reliance on the machine, Braun sings on “Slaves To Silicon,” that “We’re hypnotized, we’re mesmerized.”

The internal versus external struggle is an ideological conundrum and Halcyon Way successfully lays out this battle. “Burning The Summit” or “Cast Another Stone” — both similar in style and context — is a war of wits. It exemplifies the band’s talent. There is a feeling of immediacy that outlines all of the technicalities of excellent musicianship and production work. Bloody But Unbowed suffices your expectations when you can tell they set some high standards. The quality radiates, possibly making this album their best yet.

Categories: Reviews

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