Ah, Djent, thou art a fickle mistress. Ever since Meshuggah released their classic “Destroy, Erase, Improve”, legions of bands have been clamouring to follow in the footsteps of the polyrhythmic metal gods. Though Montreal’s Fayne do follow in the steps of the mentioned Swedish powerhouse, the Canadian quintet also showcase a variety of different influences on their brand new album “Journals.”
Founded on the expected principles of overabundant polyrhythms, melodic-to-harsh vocals and atmospheric ambience combined with ultra-modern production techniques, Fayne is a band that should be closely watched by music fans the world over.
Clocking in at just above 42 minutes, “Journals” is split into eight digestible songs. The music found on the album is typical progressive metalcore affair, albeit with a fair amount of flair woven in. The polyrhythmic drumming, the jazzy chords, clean breaks and ambient sections so often displayed by Periphery and TesseracT are all present. The guitarists — Alex Gonzales and Nick Fazioli — are in top form, providing both memorable, groovy riffs and unsettling melodies, seamlessly alternating between the two. The drumming, courtesy of Carlo De Iuliis, alternately locks in with the guitars to power forward the band’s groove, or playing across and under the riffs in flurries of dead-accurate double kick. Surprisingly, bassist Chris Kasp is not lost in the mix. Instead, his bass brings a new element to the style.
The songwriting too, is in top form. Presenting a slower, more epic version of the established Djent formula, “Journals” weaves to and from, meandering through various sections and moods towards its inevitable climax and finale.
The production on “Journals” is, in one word, immaculate, and is done by Jamie King. The album is at the forefront of high-tech production. The guitars are clean and clear when they need to be, and heavy and groovy the next moment. The bass is highly audible, and at times even a tad funky, bringing a presence and dimension not often felt in records of this style. The drums sound heavy and hard, and carry the band with a boom and a thud. Justin Furtado’s vocal execution and production are also spot-on, never completely overtaking the show, but never sinking to the background.
This album shows a lot of promise from a band on the brink of extraordinary things, all wrapped up with epic songwriting tendencies and a great deal of talent. “Journals” is a truly promising release, and if Fayne continue to hone their style as they have obviously done over the past few years, they will no doubt become one of the genre’s most defining bands.