Interloper – Search Party (Review)

Interloper - Search PartyInterloper are a progressive metal band from the US, and this is their debut album.

Although this band feature ex-members of acts such as Abiotic and Rings of Saturn, Interloper is a different proposition to groups like that. Search Party contains 55 minutes of music, and has more in common with far more accessible bands; think of a mix of acts such as Opeth, Trivium, Bullet for My Valentine, and Soilwork, then throw in some Ne Obliviscaris, Karnivool, and Gojira for good measure, and you’ll have a rough idea of where Search Party is coming from.

The band have a lot of presence and power in a very modern way; this is music that has been polished and refined to within an inch of its life. Although this approach can all too frequently lead to bands that sound sterile, safe, and lifeless, for Interloper, this hyper-professional approach works, and allows this sort of glossy, high production value music to make the most of itself.

The vocals range from clean singing to harsh shouting. The balance is firmly in the former’s favour, but the latter get a decent showing across the tracks. Interloper may be very melodic, but they’re also, ultimately, a heavy band.

The songs are big and anthemic. They are brimming with confidence and professional skill. The band texture their music well, with layers of intricate guitar work and soaring harmonies. Although a thoroughly modern album I’m pleased to say that that the quality-sapping influence of djent is absent on Search Party. Instead, the band look to other, older influences, and present them with a very modern delivery.

The musicianship is exemplary, especially many of the leads and solos. Rich melody is frequently used, helping the band to easily craft an emotive base for their songs. This latter aspect is an important part of Interloper’s sound and appeal, and one which is only enhanced by the singer’s pristine cleans, and the interplay between these and the music’s melodies.

Search Party is an album that has clearly had a lot of work put into it, and this has largely paid off. If you’re a fan of a more modern and polished approach to song-focused progressive metal, then look no further than Interloper’s debut album.

Highly recommended.

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