The Death Of Me is the new album from the Sydney metalcore outfit Polaris, following on from the release of their debut album, The Mortal Coil, in 2017. Drummer Daniel Furnari explained the direction for this album: “[b]eing our second full-length, we knew it was important for us to surprise the listener as well – nobody wants to hear the same record twice. We wanted to give them things they wouldn’t expect, take them to new places, but also for it to be definitively a Polaris record, building on what we’ve been working towards.”
Polaris explore many different ideas, both lyrically and musically, throughout this album. With various genre influences and techniques also seeping into the mix. Masochist encompasses the distinctive harsh vocals which give their sound a hard, aggressive edge, along with a soaring chorus comprised of clean vocals. The catchy hook gives the track a pop / dance feel, and this is before even discussing the intricate layering of guitar tones and textures, contrapuntal melodies that successfully add detail without fighting over space, and the powerful percussion supporting underneath. Landmine brings in the heavier side of their sound. The powerful guitar chugs give the track a real sense of momentum, with explosive bass, drums and incredible harsh vocals. The strong presence of djent rhythms with the appearance of lead guitar riffs and licks throughout enhances the power of this track. By including clean vocals, they heaviness of the track doesn’t lessen, rather it shows a greater contrast between the vocals and instrumentation. It sees the vocals soar. Landmine wouldn’t be complete without an epic breakdown.
The chorus in Vagabond brings an unexpected chord sequence and melody line. It feels somewhat reminiscent of Voyager’s chorus style; bringing in the uplifting pop elements. With such a wide scope of sounds and genre influences, it really shows how Polaris have been developing their own sound to an album that shows off their wider skillset, without sacrificing their original sound which has grown to be so loved by fans. Creatures Of Habit has some particularly great guitar tones going on. The dissonant, distorted tone gives the aggressive rhythms a powerful depth to the sound. It’s that deep powerful feeling within one’s soul that the right guitar tone, with the right rhythm can invoke. Once again, the clean vocals break up the dense, distorted sound. When the breakdown hits, it hits hard, partly through this contrast of sounds. The lower string bend towards the end of the track is just delicious.
Polaris gave themselves a tough act to follow having released such a strong debut album. The Death Of Me sees the metalcore act grow and develop in their sound and their songwriting. It’s a great progression to see where they are choosing to direct themselves, and they have produced another great album in the process.
For fans of: Northlane, Architects, Crystal Lake
Words by Holly Royle
‘The Death Of Me’ by Polaris is out now on Sharptone Records.