The music on The Death of Me involves heavy aggression with melodic texture, and although it frequently combines the two, it also equally-frequently separates them. This results in an album that’s far more diverse than your average metalcore record, yet will probably mean that some people get a lot more out of some tracks than others. Although I certainly prefer the band when they’re at their heaviest, the lighter, more melodic material here is still above average for bands tagged with the metalcore epithet.
Occasional nu-metal, hardcore, technical/progressive metal, and alternative rock influences can be heard in places too, further broadening the album’s scope. Polaris are to be commended for the fact that they’re obviously not comfortable wallowing in the midst of the standard metalcore framework, and clearly want to make their own mark on the scene, (which also bodes well for future releases if they continue down this path).
The main singer’s harsh voice is passionate and angry, but there’s a dual-vocalist approach, and a variety of different styles appear across the album. It’s primarily a variety of well-performed shout-screams, but it’s certainly not a one-dimensional delivery across the album. Also, I like the fact that although clean singing is used, it’s not used overly so, and doesn’t appear on every track. This increases its impact, as when the clean singing is deployed it makes itself felt more strongly.
Metalcore is mostly quite maligned, and it’s true that a lot of it is generic pap, but Polaris buck this trend. The band ably offer an emotive, hard-hitting record that contains plenty of breakdowns and pit-friendly anthems, as well as having sufficient depth of songwriting to keep the listener returning. The Death of Me is a strong record that should retain interest for some time, and demonstrates that Polaris are definitely ascending to the top of the modern metalcore pile.
A highly recommended listen.