ALBUM REVIEW: Roll For Initiative – Highrider

Another band to release their debut record in 2017 are Swedish heavy metal group HIGHRIDER with Roll For Initiative, joining forces with The Sign Records. The band fall under the heavy metal banner, as they combine a number of elements in their music such as thrash, punk, and hardcore to name just a few.

This is evident straight away at the beginning of the opening track Nihilist Lament. It begins with a killer riff from guitarist Eric Radegard, setting the pace extremely high before the rest of the band kicks in to continue the momentum. The vocals of Andreas Fagerberg are loud and aggressive, bringing together the thrash element of the band, and an explosive start to the record.

The second track though, A Burial Scene, takes a much slower approach. The intro is focused very heavily on the percussion, which start off at a much calmer tempo, and combined with the guitar the speed gradually begins to increase –  the intro itself lasting well over a minute to emphasise the build-up. It doesn’t take too long though before the sound returns to its fast-paced thrash nature, and is another solid hit.

That sound is pretty consistent throughout the record, which for a band looking to break into the current rock and metal scene is a good thing as it highlights HIGHRIDER‘s own unique sound and what people can expect when they hear any future material from the group.

While the overall sound is pretty much the same as a whole though, HGHRIDER do try to make each of their intros unique. Again this is a big plus point as it helps to differentiate between the tracks, as well as showcasing the band’s diversity. While some bands have an entire album that sounds exactly the same all the way through, this shows that HIGHRIDER have the ability to do different things and execute it well. What also makes this album intriguing is that, as mentioned before, HIGHRIDER haven’t limited themselves to one specific genre, which means that as a heavy metal band, should they wish to delve more thoroughly into a specific genre such as death metal, doom or even deeper into thrash, then they’ll be able to do that without changing their sound too much.

Sweden have a lot of big name bands across different genres in the modern rock and metal scene, so it will be a tough task for HIGHRIDER to stand up and be counted, particularly when their music, much like a lot of the other Swedish bands, is loud, hard, and fast. Having said that, Roll For Initiative is a strong debut record. The sound is exquisite, the vocals are very well executed and it has all the ingredients that you’d expect to hear in a heavy metal album. It’ll definitely be a good addition to any record collection.

Rating: 8/10

Roll For Initiative - Highrider

Roll For Initiative is out now via The Sign Records.

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