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By: Scott Turney
Erra is a progressive metal band from Birmingham, Alabama who just recently signed with Sumerian Records. Over the last few years Erra has released two studio albums and three EP’s all while going through various band member changes most notably with lead screamer. Usually this would cripple a band, but Erra is different. Erra continues to persevere and continues to better themselves with each new album. In early 2016 Erra announced that their new lead screamer would be JT Cavey, formally of Texas In July. JT Cavey’s screams along with vocalist/guitarist Jesse Cash’s clean singing really mesh well and make their new album ‘Drift’ better than any of their previous albums.
The album starts off with “Luminesce” which wastes no time blowing the listener away with impressive guitar playing and singing by Jesse Cash before JT Cavey is introduced. JT brings another level of intensity to ‘Drift’. Most notably when JT screams “WHEN WILL WE WAKE THE FUCK UP?!”. The song is catchy and is a perfect way to start the album. The second song “Irreversible” has more of a djent-esk sound with JT beginning the song this time around. Again there are impressive lyrics such as “Don’t let the wrong choices repeat themselves. Don’t stimulate the sting of irreversible emptiness.” which JT makes more unique by pausing after certain words.
The fourth song “Hourglass” begins the trio of songs that were released as singles. “Hourglass” starts off slow but makes up for it with an impressive guitar solo. “Orchid” features some really technical guitar work, but also melodic at the same time. “Orchid” also features another guitar solo which really brings the whole song together. However the title track and sixth song of the album “Drift” really separates itself from the rest of the singles released. It is probably the best song off the album with its stunning intro, catchy choruses and melodic and atmospheric sound which really sets it apart from anything Erra has previously done.
The ninth track off of “Drift” is “Safehaven” which is the longest song, clocking in just over six minutes long. The track is one hell of a rollercoaster. Starting slow then picking up steam going through twists and turns which carries the melodic theme that is throughout the record and even a part that the listener can sing along to. “Whether or not the world is withered away (withered away) We are ever, we are evermore.” Last but not least is “The Hypnotist” which not only has heavy sections but frenetic guitar work as well which makes it a unique track. Also included is a beautiful guitar solo and an outro to end the song, something Erra has done on the last songs of previous albums.
Erra is an ever-changing band and this new album proves it. ‘Drift’ is far more melodic than previous albums. Not only that but adding JT Cavey to their lineup only made the band better. ‘Drift’ showcases all of these changes right from the first song “Luminesce” and it never lets up. Some fans might not like the vocalist change or even the fact that ‘Drift’ sounds different than previous albums, but Erra is always evolving into something bigger and better. Will they add newer elements to their songs? One thing is for sure they will certainly be back with songs for millions of fans to enjoy. Pop Deflators gives ‘Drift’ 5 out of 5 stars for being a heavy, melodic masterpiece.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “DRIFT”