Up-and-coming metal outfit Alien Weaponry is scheduled to release its sophomore album, Tangaroa Friday. Set for release through Napalm Records, the 12-song record will come Friday more than three years after the release of its debut album, Tu. The band’s forthcoming album is, for the most part, everything that audiences have come to expect from the band following the release of Tu, as is evidenced in the album’s already released singles. At the same time, the album does show some growth from the band in its latest outing. One of those points of growth is exhibited late in the album’s approximately hour-long run time in the form of ‘Crooked Monsters.’ This song will be discussed shortly. The brooding ‘Unforgiving’ is another example of the growth that the band presents in its latest album. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Down The Rabbit Hole,’ which closes out the album, is yet another example of how the band has changed things up in its latest album. It will also be discussed later. All three songs noted here are important in their own right, as they show that audiences are not going to get completely the same thing as in the band’s debut album. When they are considered along with the album’s more familiar content, the whole makes Tangaroa a mostly positive sophomore outing for Alien Weaponry.
Tangaroa is a strong second offering from the up-and-coming hard rock/metal band, Alien Weaponry. The album’s strength comes through its familiar content, and through some content that exhibits a certain growth and development from the band. ‘Crooked Monsters,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements. ‘Crooked Monsters’ presents a deep, rich musical arrangement that is not just more of the Soulfly-esque content that made the band so popular in Tu. In the case of this song, it comes across as a two-movement opus of sorts. The nearly four-and-a-half-minute composition starts off in very brooding fashion with just the instruments doing the talking. The subtlety in the drums as the song builds through the song’s first two minutes or so works with the equally subdued, contemplative guitars to fully immerse audiences in the song. By the time front man Lewis De Jong comes in and adds in his vocal talents, the impact at that point hits even harder. The pairing of his vocal delivery style here along with the instrumentation lends itself to comparison more to works from Crowbar than from Soulfly or even Sepultura. It makes for an interesting moment. It is just one part of what makes this song notable. The song’s lyrical theme adds its own layer of interest to the presentation.
Much of the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher without lyrics to reference. However from what can be deciphered, there are mentions throughout of items, such as anger felt inside, the sky falling, and trying to fill the void, while the “mind keeps playing every single day” would seem to hint that the song is focused on the familiar topic of mental health. If indeed that is what the band is attempting to convey here, it has done so in a way that will definitely connect with listeners. What’s more, it will hopefully help listeners get through their own struggles, again, if that is indeed what is being addressed here. The pairing of that seeming message along with the song’s equally heavy (literally and figuratively) musical arrangement makes the song in whole even more engaging and entertaining and just one example of what makes Tangaroa stand apart from Tu. It is just one of the songs that helps the album succeed. ‘Unforgiving’ is another example of what makes Alien Weaponry’s new album stand out.
‘Unforgiving’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement just as much as ‘Crooked Monsters.’ Clocking in at seven minutes, 11 seconds, it is the album’s longest song. The subtle guitar line alongside the sound of thunder and falling rain as the arrangement opens lends itself lightly to comparison to works from Tool. As the song progresses, it gradually builds, eventually reaching its peak more than four-and-a-half minutes in. That gradual building is a reflection of the growing emotion felt by the song’s subject who is himself dealing with some heavy thoughts and emotions, once again.
In the case of this song, the thoughts and emotions come across as those related to depression. This is inferred as De Jong sings that “The world keeps crashing down around me/Time and time again…When I look around to find that everything…is temporary…We are mortal beings…” There is, again, much that is difficult to decipher here without lyrics to reference. On a related note that is in fact partially because of the almost Kurt Cobain style of vocal delivery that De Jong uses as he sings. It is that nearly indecipherable, semi-mumbling approach with slurring along the way that made Cobain such a unique vocalist. Getting back on the matter at hand, the song’s lyrical content, at this point, hints relatively clearly at someone who is in a dark place. That is even with what little is decipherable without lyrics to reference. The vulnerability that De Jong and company show here, much as in ‘Crooked Monsters’ will connect with listeners in its own way. That coupled with the unique musical arrangement here adds to the song’s impact. The end result is that the song proves even more, the growth and change presented in Tangaroa. It is just one more of the album’s most notable songs. ‘Down The Rabbit Hole,’ which closes out the album, is yet another way in which Tangaroa proves mostly successful.
‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ presents one of many Soulfly-esque arrangements that flesh out the album. In the case of each song (including this one) the arrangement still boasts its own unique arrangement. The richness and heaviness exhibited throughout the arrangement makes it stand out. Listeners can hear just as much of an influence from Sepultura (from Max Cavalera’s days as its front man) as from his work with Soulfly. The thing is that even with those similarities in sound and style, the song still boasts its own work. In other words the similarity is there, but it is not just a rip-off of any of the noted bands’ works. As a matter of fact, at one point in the five-minute-plus song, it pulls back some and puts forward the slightest touch of what sounds and feels like a classic rock vibe. Yes, that was really noted. It is brief, but really makes things interesting in its own right. The semi-jam session that breaks out in the song’s closing bars is interesting in its own right, too, showing even more, the originality in the song’s presentation. All things considered, the arrangement in whole shows in its own way, the band’s growth. When that is considered along with the song’s lyrical theme, the interest increases.
Once again, much of the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference. At the same time, just enough is understandable that listeners can infer that this song is a commentary about a relationship that has changed over time. That mention of “you made me what I am” alongside so much else seems to push the song’s lyrical interpretation in that direction. Additionally, the commentary that “You say you’ve changed/You say you’re sorry/But I can’t help but wonder/Looking back…Apologies/Only go so far/And yet I prosper” adds even more to that inference. It would help make the song’s title make more sense. Going down the rabbit hole here is going down the rabbit hole of what has happened in the relationship so to speak. Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation. Considering this inference and the song’s unique musical arrangement, the whole once again shows real change and willingness to try something different while also making sure the band doesn’t alienate its established audiences here. When the song is considered along with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of that content makes clear, the album is worth hearing and a mostly successful new offering from Alien Weapony.
Alien Weaponry’s sophomore album, Tangaroa, is an interesting new offering from the up-and-coming hard rock band. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike. The album offers its established audiences plenty of familiar content in both avenues as well as some new content that shows the band’s willingness to take some risks. The two sides together make the album well worth hearing and a sign of the bands potential future. Tangaroa is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.
More information on Tangaroa is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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