News4U March 2022

Page 40

NEWS4U MARCH 2022 | MUSIC

FORTHRIGHT The circle gets the square: Tri-state metal trio drops belated masterwork, Antiorthodox

I

t was last July that News 4U sat down

flourishes over the course of this seriously

Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. No hyperbole,

with the members of local metal masters

intricate album.

it's everything you could want in a heavy song - eight minutes and 21 seconds of

Forthright - vocalist/guitarist Nick Bulger,

guitarist Tyler Brown and drummer Eddie

Indeed, one blatantly obvious reason

aggression, sophistication and unparalleled

Goebel - to discuss the impending release of

for Antiorthodox's tardiness is the sheer

instrumentation. "Premonition," on the other

their incredibly ambitious sophomore album,

complexity of the material and the concept.

hand, is a short burst of frenetic percussion,

Antiorthodox. At the time, the trio expected

As Bulger humbly states, "We put a lot of time

almost African in nature, courtesy of Goebel.

to drop the 13-track collection in the early

and effort into it." To wit, the album's divided

It's another intriguing transition piece

fall but delays followed, pushing its unveiling

into three distinct chapters - Divergence,

that perfectly sets up the dramatic closer,

off until the New Year. But the follow-up to

Acceptance and Consequence - with periodic

"Vastation," a pummeling vehicle for Bulger's

Kaleidoscopic Manslaughter, the band's 2018

instrumental passages serving to recalibrate

vocal versatility. Verses are borderline rapped;

debut, has finally arrived and, pardon our

the vibe. "Hate," synth-based and delightfully

bass-centric breakdowns are accompanied

language, holy sh*t - it rules. Make no mistake

dark, stands as an unexpected highlight,

by near whispers; distorted crescendos are

about it, Antiorthodox is freaking amazing

leading into "Ergo," a groove monster

met head-on by high-pitched wailing and,

across the board, kicking off thrillingly with a

that shows off Goebel's double-kick drum

ultimately, a defeated cry: "And so the circle

seeming nod to Metallica's "Battery." Well, in

prowess and Brown's nimble riffing. Above it

gets the square!" - which somehow sums up

the sense that "Anti" similarly sets the mood

all, Bulger repeatedly barks, "I think, therefore

this complicated masterwork in one phrase.

with a classical guitar motif before giving

I am!" - perhaps trying to convince himself of

way to one of Forthright's greatest songs to

his very existence.

Tracks we discussed back in July - including "Throne of Bones," "Islands of Sanity" and

date, "Orthodox." It's a steamroller from the get-go, recalling the speedy thrash of Slayer,

Forthright dive headfirst into Tool territory

"Tradition" - sound just as good six months

complete with heart-stopping breakdowns

on "Obelus," a Middle Eastern-influenced

later, by the way. There's simply no let-up on

and time-shifts - and, most notably, the

track that finds Bulger crooning melodically

Antiorthodox, one of the tri-state's best metal

incredible vocals of Bulger, who truly comes

at times. More old school shredding drives

albums to date.

into his own on Antiorthodox, veering from

"Curse of the Unknown" which plays like

full-throated screams to near-operatic vocal

a melding of metal's Big 4: Metallica,

38 | MARCH 2022

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