Since Yesterday

The Artificial Truth

Written by: AP on 09/04/2010 02:37:15

Occasionally we receive albums from the most unexpected corners of the world, places where music is persecuted with extreme prejudice or where opportunities are otherwise skint. We have the utmost respect for such bands (even if our grades do not always reflect this), because their defiant, undying passion for creating music as extreme as the hardships they face protects freedom of expression in ways that make our cries against tough anti-piracy measures sound spoiled. Granted, Turkey might not exactly be the hotbed for religious extremism or unrightful persecution, but on the other hand, how many Turkish metal bands can you name?

This is why on their MySpace, Since Yesterday urge us to forget anachronistic Turkish stereotypes and imagine a new and musically talented band as cool as any from the US or the UK; a band with the courage to finally cross the borders of their own country and release an album worldwide. Three words to sum up the band's debut album, "The Artificial Truth": metalcore done right. Just like Bury Tomorrow, this band's strength lies not with breaking convention, but with using tried and tested techniques to craft memorable songs - with a twist. Indeed, there is nothing revolutionary about the band's music, but it has spice. Like Killswitch Engage, the songs sound deceptively simple at first, but both the riffs and the rhythm section are awash with subtle tricks which set the band apart from most of their contemporaries and consequently there is never a boring moment; melodies with a dazzling amount of detail govern in every song. The guitarists, Burak Kilic and Cem Saydam, don't use powerchords to facilitate a chorus and very rarely resort to anything resembling a breakdown, preferring instead to solo their way through instrumental passages and lay down intricate melodies behind Mansur Asrar's distinctive vocals.

Instead of growling, vocalist Mansur uses a kind of coarse, distorted yell that sounds, pardon me but, fucking awesome. His style is not as deranged or confrontational as Oli Sykes' on "Suicide Season", and it might come across somewhat lackluster with regards to power at first, but when sat next to an n number of other metalcore vocalists, one begins to appreciate it and find more anger, more despair and more passion in it than the terrifying screams of John Pettibone (Himsa), Ryan Zimmerman (Greeley Estates) and Robert Ljung (Adept) combined. One gets the feeling from the songs that it's Mansur against the world, pissed off and screaming his gospel with his last breath. The clean vocals (courtesy of Caner Karamukluoglu of Turkish band TNK) are just as distinctive, and no less emotional, like the exotic croons of Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian (both of System of a Down) and, to a lesser extent, Anders Fridén (In Flames). Sounds weird admittedly, but as soon as the fantastic chorus in "The Aftermath" kicks in, you'll be hooked and shamelessly singing: "When did we change our paths to go our separate ways / and become perfect enemies, like black and white? / How come we don't ask ourselves how our brightest memories / have faded away into the darkness and left our souls behind?". Worth mentioning also, is that Mansur actually sings in the choruses rather than using prolonged three-word wails and excessive falsetto which most bands in the genre pass as 'clean singing'.

Out of nine tracks seven are absolutely fantastic; the remaining two ("Episode Two" and "Dead Today") are merely great, which makes it difficult to select defining moments. Were I to name the best songs off the album, however, go check out the explosive "The Aftermath", infectious single "Scabs", dire apocalypso "Tales of Redemption", metalcore anthem "Hey! Sleepwalker" and the ballad "Sinatra Doctrine", which vocally sounds somewhat similar to Avenged Sevenfold's "I Won't See You Tonight". Since receiving this album sometime in March, it has remained on constant rotation on my playlist and it has yet to disappoint or tire me. As bold a statement as it may be, what we have here is one of the finest metalcore albums I have ever heard, right up there with Bury Tomorrow's "Portraits", All That Remains' "The Fall of Ideals" and Killswitch Engage's "The End of Heartache" - a powerful, emotionally charged opus which deserves to be heard.

Download: The Aftermath, (It Always Feels Good to Remove) Scabs, Tales of Redemption, Hey! Sleepwalker, Sinatra Doctrine
For the fans of: All That Remains, Bury Tomorrow, Killswitch Engage
Listen: Myspace

Release date 2010

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