Sentinels – Collapse by Design (Review)

Sentinels - Collapse by DesignThis is the debut album from US technical metal band Sentinels.

Collapse by Design features 47 minutes of contemporary heaviness. The band mix elements of metalcore, mathcore, progressive metal, djent, and technical metal, and do so really rather well. Alongside this they also play around with melodic and atmospheric enrichments, which add extra flavour to the music.

The music is brutal and aggressive, and frequently in ways that are jagged and non-standard. The technical heaviness and intricate complexity of the songs are energetic and exciting, but never get out of hand or become allowed to interfere with the overall direction of the songs.

The music strikes a balance between crushing groove and technical mayhem. Sentinels clearly know how to use their instruments, and the songs frequently descend into the sort of controlled chaos that could become messy in a lesser band’s hands, but here it works really well. On top of this are added melodic and atmospheric elements, both of which enhance the music with emotive feeling. The album as a whole flows well, subtly emphasising heaviness earlier on and atmosphere later, although both aspects are present from the start to the end of the record.

The vocals consist of primarily harsh shouts, as well as backing vocals from the band’s drummer. They’re as intense as the music, and complement it nicely.

I like what Sentinels have put together here very much. If you’re a fan of bands such as Ion Dissonance, Meshuggah, and Coalesce, (with splashes of Alpha Wolf and Animals as Leaders), then make sure you check out Collapse by Design.

Very highly recommended.

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