Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rejectionist Front - Evolve (2017)

Written by David Shouse, posted by blog admin

The sophomore album from the New York City outfit Rejectionist Front Evolve is an aptly titled twelve song collection that shows the development of the band’s musical message keeping pace with its intelligent lyrical subject matter. Produced by World2Be Entertainment, the four members bring obvious passion and expertise to what they do with a dramatic edge tingeing the songs that’s never overplayed. The band has shared stages with a number of important acts, iconic and otherwise, including Joan Baez and Immortal Technique, and for good reason – the same spark setting apart those aforementioned acts is found in their music and casts a bright light for every listener to appreciate. Michael Perlman’s lead vocals and lyrics are more powerful than ever before and the harmonies often making their way into music courtesy of guitarist Lincoln Prout and bassist Tony Tino sweeten the hard rock mix fueling much of Evolve.

“Ride”, the album opener, has an exultant edge Perlman’s voice matches from the first and the rhythm section attack from bassist Tino and drummer Dave Dawson make an impressive impact. It’s an excellent choice for the album opener and the dueling voices vying for listener’s attention are compelling listening, but it’s the way Rejectionist Front manipulates dynamics that leaves the biggest mark on the band’s audience. Evolve’s second track “All I Am” balances a hard swing with some head-down passages of tight riffing to excellent effect. The presence of harmony vocals aren’t as strong here as the first cut, but the band’s songwriting places it just right in the context of this tune. The chorus for “Savior” is a great example of one of the band’s greatest songwriting strength and the transitions between verse and chorus are adeptly handled without a stumble. Naturally, this is a studio recording, but Rejectionist Front sounds like a remarkably live unit despite the obvious overdubs and production work enhancing the performance. There’s a strongly engaging quality surrounding this song that makes it one of Evolve’s best.

“Sign” has a hard-hitting whiplash riff that Lincoln Prout layers with some colorful lead guitar flourishes. This is another emphatic number on an album full of them, but the clenched fist tightness of this tune is notable on a release that never takes its foot off the gas pedal. “Innocent” is a great song further improved by the band incorporating some voice over passages. In the hands of a lesser act, these kind of moves often come off as pretentious twaddle, but Rejectionist Front understands how to make judicious use of such effects. “Flush” has proven to be an effective single from the album with an accompanying video and even a cursory hearing of the song bears out why the band keyed on this song’s potential for mass appeal. On a whole, Rejectionist Front does an outstanding job of crafting accessible yet highly intelligent near prog metal sans keyboards or synthesizers. There’s a more raucous, sometimes bluesy, edge twisting the band’s music a little more than you’d hear from similar acts and it’s one of the distinctive qualities that helps position Evolve as one of the best guitar-driven albums in recent memory.

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