With lead single, ‘The Remedy’, Sydney quintet Polaris gave the metal community a reason to get very excited about their debut record; ‘The Mortal Coil’. Built on a sturdy rhythmic foundation with a streamlined flow, ‘The Remedy’ sees the tech-heavy practitioners writing something with enough hook-laden punches to fill arenas without compromising the intensity of their more challenging material.
While the rest of ‘The Mortal Coil’ doesn’t deal in instant anthems like ‘The Melody’, there’s a forceful enthusiasm that comes through a performance that stops Polaris from solely existing under a Northlane shaped shadow. And while the former’s sound has been wizened through years of experience, hearing Polaris discover their strengths and capabilities across eleven tracks is gratifying for listeners.
‘Lucid’ opens the album with swelling drum patterns which clear the path for caustic palm-muted metalcore chugging, as Rick Schneider and Ryan Siew create an intimate soundscape that feels claustrophobic and intimate. Contrasting this with beefed up breakdowns releases that tension into energetic slabs of pure chaos. ‘Relapse’ is a more adventurous offering, as colourful lead melodies give the song the same whimsy of classic Nintendo soundtracks, as frontman Jamie Hall’s seeks adventure to escape ‘the poison in my head, become the poison in my veins.’
As a vocalist, Hall’s versatility is a big part of ‘The Mortal Coil’s’ gleaming personality. His dynamic mid-range allows him to encompass the size of the choruses on ‘Frailty’ and ‘Dusk to Decay’, and his sporadic switches to screaming on ‘Consume’ matches the band’s well placed outings of aggression through spontaneous time-signature changes.
‘The Mortal Coil’ is a promising debut for Polaris, and makes one curious enough to see what they can go on to achieve, particularly if they can create instant hits like ‘The Remedy’. In a world where Architects can play to 10,000 capacity venues, the prospect of technical metalcore bands being key players in the genre has become a very real prospect. On the strength of this, exciting days lie ahead.
‘The Mortal Coil’ by Polaris is out now on Sharptone Records.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)