Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Traverse the Abyss-The Gamble of Life


Formed in 2016 by one time members of Threatpoint and Without a Martyr, Scranton, Pennsylvania's Traverse the Abysss could not have picked a better title for their full-length debut if they tried. Even though all of the song title have to do with card playing, "The Gamble of Life" is really about taking musical chances and not being afraid to ruffle any feathers in the process. With lead vocals courtesy of one Eric Rose, metalcore/nü-metal band Traverse the Abyss absolutely excels when it comes to that subject. This 10-track recording, which was recorded by Joe Loftus & Jay Preston at JL Studios and  released in late November of last year, finds Traverse the Abyss pushing the boundaries of the (often-times) stilted scene that spawned them. While the band's core essence is metalcore/nü-metal (and damn fine metalcore/nü-metal at that!) you will quickly find yourself picking up on a large array of inspirations. There are flashes of groove metal, hard rock, alternative metal, (punk-laden) hardcore, traditional heavy metal, Djent, (guitar-heavy) street rock, thrash, modern metal, punk metal, and even power pop! As crazy as that last part sounds, Traverse the Abyss really knows their shit and it all gels together in perfect harmony!! The clever use of clean and harsh vocals is a real nice touch and extra points have been awarded for recognizing the important role that bass players play in HEAVY music like this! Speaking of which, "The Gamble of Life" features the line-up of Eric Rose, "Iron" Mike White (lead guitar), Mike "Bnoc" Bieniecki (bass/backing vocals), and Phil Luongo (drums). As of this writing (April 5th, 2017) Phil Loungo has been replaced by Nelson Negron and Traverse the Abyss has added a second guitarist in Seth Cardona. That's really neither here nor there when it comes to this clobber-knocker, but it's always good to give credit where credit is due. Other than that piece of information, "The Gamble of Life" is what it is and it makes no bones about it. The album is a great first effort for this up-and-coming band that is bound to only get better with each passing day. In addition to the bandcamp page that I highlighted above, "The Gamble of Life" is available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, and Cd Baby. It comes with my highest recommendation and had I known about it last year, "The Gamble of Life" would have been one of my recommendations for Top 10 debut albums of 2016!  You can follow the band on their Facebook page and before I forget, no, this is not the stupid kind of metalcore where you have those godawful breakdowns! Traverse the Abyss knows how to bring the pain without having to resort to silly bass drops every other minute. And not only do these Scranton metalheads bring the pain, Traverse the Abyss flat-out shreds! Don't get me started on "Iron" Mike White's wicked guitar playing  otherwise we will be here all day and all night!! And to think this is only their first batch of songs...

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