Setting their sights on the live music scene since the release of 2015’s EP Self Destruct, Kingston’s BAD SOLUTION finally hunkered down in the studio to produce their debut full-length The War Within.
This time around, the band have not opted to explore new dimensions, but rather expand on their underground success (all four tracks from Self Destruct are on this offering) to unleash an album riddled with cascading vocals that takes cues from veteran frontmen like James Hetfield and DISTURBED’s David Draiman.
Opening with the battle cry of Drowning, BAD SOLUTION immediately settle into their sound. Taken straight from Self Destruct, discordant, stand alone guitar riffs edge into play for the arrival of Wojtek Suberlak’s brazen, distorted bass that fuzzes with great relish — filling in where drummer Joe Patterson brutally races with ease. Their scuzzy pairing stomps through as the centrepiece in thrashy offering FOD: driven by twisting guitar arrangements from founding member Trix and Mariusz Chojnowski that packs a punch.
With three years of live rehearsal under their belt, and in fact six years worth since the band formed, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they’ve overtly taken influence from their contemporaries. On tracks like Demon In My Bed and closer White Washed, the band manage to whip classic heavy metal ideas into submission and re-hash them as their own. Marry those with eastern inspired tuning in Desert Rock, and you begin to get a feel for BAD SOLUTION’s Polish roots.
Nothing (You Don’t Know Me) follows its predecessor in launching a call-to-arms assault that sees vocalist Alex Wilcox begin to explore his vocal range. On The Last Lie he rasps through aggressive choruses that threaten to descend into guttural screams, but barely scrapes the surface — fleetingly leaving you wanting to thrash around. Questionable lyrics like “Fuck off you whore” are barely audible through a huge wall of fuzz, while they poetically tread down a darker path in Dear Sarah where he guides the listener through the tale of a murdered girl – presumably Sarah.
Echoes Of The Cry sees yet another shift in vocal dynamics, this time lapsing into a more balladic effort amidst yearning poetic lyrics. “I saw her smile / the winds of change / all the magic was mine / I believed in everything / the gods, the stars, the angels / but among them was I / There’s always a journey, but hers wasn’t mine / But I said it doesn’t matter” are delivered with such intensity you can believe they stem from somewhere deeply personal. Perhaps standing out as the pivotal point on The War Within, Echoes Of The Cry offers a sonic respite between lashings of grizzly yet soaring riffs and a continuous onslaught of galloping drums.
While BAD SOLUTION haven’t offered up anything increasingly new to the scene on their first full-length, The War Within showcases their penchant for influential song-writing that has the potential to get the blood-pumping at any moment.
The War Within is out now via self-release.
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