Review: Poynte – 'Discreet Enemy'

Poynte are no new kids on the block, having already created waves in their hometown of Atlanta. They have shared the stage with the likes of Shinedown, Papa Roach, and Godsmack, so they know how to wow an audience. I will be honest, this is my first hearing of the band, and I was just a little bit blown away. The production is outstanding throughout. It is a beautifully structured album from start to finish, recorded in their own studio, and produced by Andy Reilly.

Before I delve into the 13 slices of melodic heaven, how about a little story? A completly outright devils horns in the air, metal as fuck story you could not make up. Vocalist Kenny Hathorne  has got a titanium jaw… you cannot get more metal than that… and how did he get it?… a Scissor lift accident! Now that shit is brutal, so if you ever meet him, do not go for a punch to the face.

The album opens with a very atmospheric intro in the title track, which quickly kicks into a seriously heavy riff and screaming vocals, before settling on an outstanding, multi layered slice of top notch metal. Some amazing banging bass with heavy drums.

“Picture Frames” starts with some piano and synth effects which reminded me of early Linkin Park in one of their quieter moments. It builds to a solid son of a bitch, and the more you listen to it, the more depth and diversity you hear… every instrument is pulled to the fore at different points, but all mixed together perfectly.

“Hold On” kicks from the off. The vocals carry the start of the song with the chainsaw guitar work playing along as a perfect companion. “Aberration” is far from that I can assure you. I will say it is sonically outstanding. Get a decent set of headphones on for this one. I had this on repeat for ages, breathing in the sound, feeling it soak through my ears, follow my veins and drip, drip, drip into my soul… perfection.

The intro to “Erase Me” made me think of Alien Ant Farm, and as it settled I had flashbacks of Evanescence. It is a bit calmer, deeper, and one of the most accessible tracks on the album. With “Nursery Crimes”, we keep the slowly cooking number going, but as to be expected, it builds note by note and lyric by lyric. Again, this is a more accessible track, with a great piece of guitar from Jake ODonnell.

“Coping” has that Linkin feel again, but the sound is very wavy (if that makes any sense). It is constantly on the go, but not in a straight line… kind of like a late night walk home from the pub (but the singing is WAY better). I love the screaming that features in the likes of “Coping”. Nothing is left to chance with these guys. You can tell they spent a lot of time over how these songs were composed, and where certain things would fit in.

“What Will It Take” has a grungey sound going on. I almost wondered where my checked shirt was, but it way deeper than any of that depressing stuff from the ’90s. The quality on show here would push any of the big hitters from that era, for sure. As you would expect, with a song named “The Villian”, it starts very slow with the addition of some female vocals, but this isn’t about any 007 bad guy is it? Are we all villains in what we do or how we treat people? I would say yes, so this was a perfect portrayal. Be nicer people!

” Last Embrace” has a heavily synthed, industrial start, which goes into some very heavy riffage. Once again, it settles into that chugging feel, a staccato of drums which fills your ears and your heart. “In My Head” does just that… it pounds into your brain, and this is the catchiest number by far. A real live sing a long, I am sure. This one really stuck with me for days…  the little bugger kept popping into quiet moments and I found myself singing ‘Yeah’ for no damned reason. This caused much embarrassment, I can assure you.

There is also a radio edit version of “Take Control” thrown in for good measure, and as good as it is, it is not required. This album is a beast and has been played many, many times. There is nothing bad I can say about it. I could beg for one little thing for the future, as I am just a greedy bugger, but I would love to hear a thrasher from start to finish. Fill it with more screaming, and layer with harmonies. This is just me being super picky, as I felt the album was screaming out for it. It would also make for a scorcher live, but listen to me ramble on, talking crap. This is one stunning offering, and guys, I thank you for keeping the light shining in what is a very dark month.

 

Review: Ritchie Birnie

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