Sometimes Spotify really does give me great weekly lists with some new bands and albums I’ve never heard before. This time they pointed me in the direction to Neck of the Woods, a Canadian band which plays a progressive death
metal/metalcore type of music. Think of Misery Signals or August Burns Red doing a co-op project with Dillinger Escape Plan and you’re kinda there. The Passenger is the bands sophomore release and from hearing the opening track Bottom Feeder before I knew I was in for something great.
The progressive elements really does push this albums to great heights. I never get bored and there are so many good riffs and breakdowns on The Passenger it’s almost silly. I haven’t really enjoyed metalcore releases these past years since the genre doesn’t give me anything to enjoy anymore. However once in awhile a band like Neck of the Woods comes along and mixes different elements creating something fresh and new. They got slow paced starts like on Bottom Feeder which eventually turns and produces some metalcore goodness. Nailbiter on the other hand is pedal to the metal from the get go with furious riffs and becomes a favorite of mine, really giving me those August Burns Red vibes. White Coats bass solo is sweet but other than that the song doesn’t quite capture me like Bottom Feeder and Nailbiter did, good song but a bit too slow for me. Open Water is a beautiful passage leading into You’ll Always Look the Same to Me. Initially I found the song a bit too metalcore, less progressive, for my taste but halfway into it they change the pace and I really like it. Making use of the elements I find them sticking out from the rest.
Face of the Villain, oh wow, the start on that features everything I am liking with Neck of the Woods. The bass, the drums, guitar and vocals. Everything is synced well, pushing their sound to new levels and this is the way I want them to sound. Together with Bottom Feeder and Nailbiter it’s definitely the song I will remember from this album. Drift crates another well written intermission until Foothills kicks in. Starts as one of the heavier tracks on the album but eventually slows down and becomes very progressive-sounding like Vattnet. Not a personal favorite of mine but I like that they did a song like this going more all in progressive. The song to end the album, Before I Rest, features another slow progressive start then eventually turn into the August Burns Red-like metalcore sound just to turn it back around. A good ending and one of the better songs on The Passenger.
I have to say I enjoyed my listen of The Passenger. It had its up and downs giving and taking from a wide range of genres but when Neck of the Woods are on form jelling those elements together into one I find them being one of the most interesting bands to follow.
Label: Basick Records
For fans of: August Burns Red and Dillinger Escape Plan
Favorite song: Face of the Villain