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Waves of Distortion are a new metal band from Sacramento formed by guitarist Brennen Von Slack in 2018. They started recording their debut album Race Against Time in 2020, and it was finally released earlier this year in March. Although unrelenting with its speed, noise, and sheer force, the album, for the genre, deals with themes that are actually quite mature and nuanced. The overall concept is of human weakness in anything from addiction to relationships, and the strength of recognizing that universal weakness within all of us. Vocalist Josiah Fox seemingly floats above the brutal energy of the band and sings with a truly rare sense of melodicism that augments emotions which would be buried in the mix by other less competent hands.
The word “melodicism” shouldn’t turn off purists who prefer raw aggressive energy, because Waves of Distortion delivers a sucker punch from the beginning with the thunderous, throat-grabbing “R.A.T.,” and the band keeps up the pace for a good portion of the record, offset by the emotionally wrought and pleading vocals from Fox. Everything slows down a little toward the end starting with “No Theory” until the band eventually collapses altogether on “Note to Self,” a closer that feels like an honorable capitulation to the inescapable exhaustion from such heavy topics. Race Against Time acknowledges that such a race as its title suggests is ultimately impossible to win, and thereby the album ends up one of the genre’s most thoughtful and intelligent entries in a long time.
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