Reviews Æges The Bridge

Æges

The Bridge

Los Angeles band Æges are a beautiful combination consisting of equal parts post-hardcore and sludge metal, and you can plainly hear this on their 2012 debut The Bridge. It combines weighty and languid guitar churning with fast-paced and frenetic songwriting to create a stunningly vivid result.

You can prominently hear the hardcore facet of Æges's sound on the majority of their songs. The opener "Wrong", for example, is an explosive track bursting with clean vocals and contrastingly dirty guitar lines, and the head-bobbingly catchy "The Words We Say" seeps with hardcore influences. Other tracks sound much closer to their sludgier post-metal side, especially with some of their longer offerings. "Southern Comfort" is full with low crunching guitars, mid-tempo, repetitive streams of chords, and bittersweet melodies, and the centrepiece track "The Bridge" is full of gratuitous builds, soaring vocals, and cathartic crescendos.

They aren't without their sweet moments, either. The slow-paced "My Medicine" manages to be aggressive while still maintaining a sentimental presentation, offering a small respite from the crunchiness surrounding it. "Sent From Heaven (Rest in Dirt)" also manages to be a surprisingly moving piece, mostly driven by the anthemic vocal melodies. The closer "Fade Out" definitely takes the cake though, featuring some of the best riffs on the entire album before ending with one hell of a striking build.

"Roaches" deserves mention as the standout track on the whole album, and that's no surprise, given that it was the lead single. There's just something about the insistently pulsing drums and screeching guitar lines that makes it much more than just compelling. The frenzied playing and aggressive vocal attacks make for one of the most satisfying pieces on the album. (Speaking of that single, it also contained the B-side "Dirt", a nineties-reminscent grungy rocker with one of the sickest guitar lines these guys have recorded. Sadly, that track does not make an appearance on The Bridge, so go grab the 7" or virtual EP to hear it.)

A minor issue is that some of the shorter tracks feel too much like a tease; they introduce some incredible ideas and then suddenly end before you can really experience them. "Doesn't Feel the Same" seems just to brief even for a heavy hardcore excursion, and "I Believe in Ghosts" is almost infuriatingly short with its industrial-power waltz. Overall, however, that's a complaint that many will actually find beneficial to their own particular tastes.

There is a lot of beauty to be found in the frantic spasms of The Bridge, and fans of hardcore and post-metal alike will find a lot to enjoy here. It's only real fault is that it's merely forty minutes long.

8.5 / 10Sarah
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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