Stray From The Path – Rising Sun | Album Review

Review by Billy Geary

Rising Sun - Stray from the PathRising Sun – Stray from the Path
  New York hardcore quartet Stray From The Path have been around for quite a while now, with their past albums only ever hinting at the bands potential. Rising Sun however, changes all of that, delivering 30 minutes of excellent hardcore done right. Despite being their sixth album, Rising Sun shows that while the band’s sound hasn’t changed much over the past few years, Stray From The Path remain relevant due to the sheer passion and energy they bring to the music. Rising Sun’s strength lies in that while it sticks to a relatively stringent formula, it is more often than not a winning one, demanding attention for the entirety of the record.

Coming across as a marginally more accessible Converge/Dillinger Escape Plan hybrid, Stray From The Path’s typecast is a simple one – off kilter hardcore chock full of emotion and aggression. Opening track ‘Rising Sun’ serves as the perfect microcosm for the rest of the record, full of buzzing guitars, impassioned vocals and off time rhythms. While on Rising Sun, Stray From The Path aren’t going to win any awards for originality, they are certainly going to turn heads with their musicianship and the sheer energy found in the music. The guitars throughout alternate between brooding and crushing, managing to create a somewhat calm atmosphere before crashing it all back to earth with seemingly all the fury in the world. Some of the best examples of this include fiery pair ‘Death Beds’ and ‘Mad Girl,’ where both lay claim to some of the heaviest moments on the records.

Without a doubt, the band’s greatest strength is the vocals of Drew York, serving as the source of much of the record’s anger. Seething throughout, York’s screamed delivery hits the jackpot on virtually every track, with ‘Dead Rabbits’ and ‘Prey’ being particular standouts. Elsewhere, York even takes a few shots at select bands that perhaps rely on technology as a gimmick as opposed to creating worthwhile music on ‘iMember.’ In fact, that exact reason is why Rising Sun is so refreshing, relinquishing everything bad about hardcore music today and focusing purely on the music being created. Lyrically, Yorke takes aim at virtually anything and everything, firing shots at money hungry religious types and gimmicky bands, amongst other topics, only feeding the anger in the vocals even more.

Fast, aggressive and powerful; Rising Sun is everything good about hardcore music and more. Combining off kilter rhythms and outstanding vocals, Stray From The Path know exactly what they’re doing, and they do it bloody well. Rising Sun is a testament to this, a blisteringly excellent record.

Review by Billy Geary

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