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Matriarchs – Year Of The Rat

Year Of The Rat
by Joseph Hausmann at 17 July 2020, 11:12 AM

Hyper-aggressive group MATRIARCHS has released their latest album "The Year Of The Rat." The band boasts a very raw aggressive style that is an all-out assault on the senses. From savage gutturals to moderate cleans, this group out of Los Angeles, California has an interesting blend of modern tones with an early 2000s feel. The band's raw power hits you right in the face and never lets up.

Diving right into "Year Of The Rat," we are met with an aggressive introduction of the band with "Verisimilitude." This track is brutal with gutturals that will melt your face off that is paired with instrumentals that bring the hammer down. The unique part of this track is the clean vocals which gives the melody an almost uneasy feeling putting the listener off guard bringing to it a darker ambiance. "Cocaine Cowboys" brings a powerful vocal performance with sludge-like instrumentals to give the track more of a screechy pace. Those instrumentals feel bludgeoning at times and paired with the rough vocal work it really hits hard.

"BombaClot" opens up with a reminiscing feel of the Nu Metal sound before the vocals come in to rip apart with a savage force. The track speeds up building intensity before dropping the bottom out. The clean vocals are a little bit underwhelming compared to the gutturals but overall the track is solid and has some very strong points. "Dogma" offers us a different take on MATRIARCHS stylings. The vocals have a high range as well as very low register that gives the track and interesting ebb and flow. The lows in this track are punishing and when they are matched up with the higher screams, the power of the two is overwhelming. Mix that with different time changes and tempos, the track is really well done and keeps the listener engaged.

"Sleep" takes us back to the early days of Nu Metal with the instrumentals. The vocals are more in a modern style employing growls and screams that have become more popular in recent years. The clean vocals in this track felt misplaced to me. They were a bit off putting from the rest of the track, still they offer more variety which is always commendable. "Feed" rounds out the album. This track has lower tuned guitars that are the predominant force behind the track. The standalone bass line was an interesting addition to the album and track.

MATRIARCHS has one interesting sound on "The Year Of The Rat." I really enjoy the rawness of the album and the permeating force that they show. I also like the fact that they blend older techniques with modern ones. It’s like having the past and the future all in one album which is really interesting to hear.

The cleans at points were good but at times they just felt out of place. But that happens sometimes and trying new things to broaden the band’s sound is always commendable and respected even if they miss the mark. It shows that they are not afraid to branch out and I appreciate that. All in all, this album is decent. There will be fans that will love this album and I still suggest that you take this one for a spin and find out if you are one of them.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Verismilitude
2. Cocaine Cowboys
3. BombaClot
4. Bitch Wolf
5. Dogma
6. Hollow
7. Roots
8. Sleep
9. Eviscerate
10. Feed
Kay Enagonio – Vocals
Ben Levi – Drums
Marty Cole – Guitar
Miguel Vasquez – Bass
Record Label: Eulogy Recordings


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