The Metal Mayan
Currents - The Death We Seek (SharpTone Records)
Updated: May 7
While many are familiar with the second half of Friedrich Nietzsche's quote regarding gazing into the abyss, not all can recite the first part: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster". Of course, for those who have wrestled any demon in their life, be they internal or external, this is easier said than done. And if the process of resisting becoming that which we seek to defeat had a soundtrack, The Death We Seek would be a perfect choice.
As the third full length release from Connecticut metalcore heavy hitters Currents, each of the album's ten tracks is a visceral look into a tormented mind, a brutal path to inner peace, and the struggle to find balance in a dissonant world. Channeling a lifetime of challenges combined with the immense isolation that hit so many during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, vocalist Brian Willie holds nothing back with every word.
Leading off with the title track, emotional synths back churning guitar, drum, and bass work before Willie's roar slams the message home: "We have found the death we seek." Transitioning into "Living In Tragedy", and later on, "Beyond This Road", the bouncing riffs and immense energy of both are sure to turn any venue into a warzone, with everyone fending for themselves.
The mournful guitar riffs that start "Over and Over" are not unlike the beauty of a fierce storm, before the intensity kicks in like torrential rains and howling winds. Drawing a degree of influence from Meshuggah, "Vengeance" is chaos incarnate with no safe zones or breathing room.
Yet, behind rage is often feelings of sadness, loneliness, and doubt . To that point, "Remember Me" and "Unfamiliar" reach deep into this realm. Willie has stated the former song was, in many ways, influenced by the great dividing of friends and family through the heaviest points of the pandemic. In the latter song's case, the feeling of self-doubt is shaped into a melodic number certain to earn a nod from fans of Soilwork and In Flames.
Willie, together with guitarists Chris Wiseman (also of Shadow of Intent) and Ryan Castaldi, bassist Chris Pulgarin, and drummer Matt Young are a tour de force. Having toured with some of the biggest names in metal and hardcore, their combination of brutality and honesty in their music will only continue to win them legions of fans.
The Metal Mayan review:
For several years now, every mention of the band Currents, every hoodie I see with their name on it, every song I hear played on Sirius XM, brings a smile to my face. Not only were they one of the hardest working bands of my home area of Fairfield County, Connecticut, but watching them evolve from their earliest works to this latest release has been awe inspiring.
Any of us who grew up seeing them play local shows could probably write a book at this point about all the bands and musicians that came together to form the band today. But at the end of all things, it is this lineup and this album that has me standing up to applaud. It is simply a masterpiece of melodic metal with a new school djent/hardcore spin to it.
There are certainly many feelings that are relatable, such as isolation and self-doubt, yet, Currents is able to convey these emotions without falling into clichés. The sheer perfection of melody, intensity, and sincerity throughout The Death We Seek would have it flagged a candidate for my top ten albums of 2023, even if I didn't know any of the members personally.
Catch Currents on tour in the U.S. and Canada with Like Moths To Flames, Invent Animate, Unity TX, and Foreign Hands from May 11 to June 10, and pick up a copy of The Death We Seek on your way to the show, out now on SharpTone Records.
Advanced copy courtesy of Atom Splitter PR and SharpTone Records
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