Album Review: ACODA – Truth Seeker

The past 18 months has been a rollercoaster for Northampton’s ACODA. The autumn of 2013 saw them release their debut full-length, ‘Yours To Defend’ and then followed it up with a new EP before a line-up shuffle saw drummer Jake Crawford take over guitar duties with Jay Russell taking over on the drum kit. Nevertheless the quartet are back with their second full-length, ‘Truth Seeker’, a fully self-produced effort that sees ACODA cross many genres.

Although they’ve been identified as “alternative metal”, ACODA are not one to be pigeonholed or tied down to a certain label. Early offerings such as ‘Make It Up As You Go’ and recent single ‘Whispers Like Roars’ sees the quartet showing off their energetic and anthemic chops to a high standard with towering guitars adding to the bands larger-than-life sound.

Elsewhere ‘Talk It Out’ hint at a more progressive side with stiff guitars giving way to compelling harmonies. ‘Won’t Go Running’ is a more buoyant offering with melancholic guitar work complimenting Damon Tang’s melody-driven vocals. Strucutally its one of ‘Truth Seeker’’s highlights with a thriving, fist-in-the-air chorus, and when its paired up with the Thrice-esque ‘‘Round The Sun’, you’re left with two slices of effective melodic alt rock.

Although later tracks ‘Face Everything’ and ‘Just Another Day’ do showcase ACODA’s strong instrumentation, they don’t have the same impact as earlier numbers. Their mix of post-hardcore and progressive metal comes across well but doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Whilst ‘Hymnyin’ closes the album on a somewhat breezy note. Atmospheric, drawn out guitars build to a fiery conclusion with distant gang chants. Even though it ties up the album in an ideal fashion, you’re left unsure what comes next for ACODA.

With the underground rock scene prospering throughout the UK, ‘Truth Seeker’ should give ACODA the opportunity to grow in stature. Whilst some may see a band with an identity crisis, others will call ACODA dynamic as ‘Truth Seeker’ has plenty of depth for you to sink your teeth into. At times it has you hooked with its infectious choruses and sharp guitars, whilst it also offers edgy, heavier moments that should transfer well into a live setting. Its downfall is that the quartet rarely stray from their safety zone. Their are hints of ACODA producing something exceptional on ‘Truth Seeker’, yet its weaker moments show they haven’t quite reached their creative peak just yet. Let’s hope this is the first step forward for a more stable and self-assured ACODA, as ‘Truth Seeker’ is a solid, worthwhile release.

3.5/5

‘Truth Seeker’ by ACODA is out now on Best Before Records.

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Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)

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