Review by Gabrielle DB

ARRAS has created an EP that projects resiliency and grit in CMLXX. The Northern Colorado five-piece consists of drummer Roman Garcia, bassist Philip Rice, guitarists Nick Quevado and Chris Redder, and vocalist Palmer Andrist. The band is able to cohesively capitalize on their talents, equally showcasing their respective instruments throughout all tracks. This feat is most impressive, and consistent throughout.

“CMLXX” opens with a beautiful melodic guitar piece. The softer vibe of this song does not resonate throughout the EP, but it provides a strong base from which the rest of the album branches from. The vocal clarity offered up by Andrist is matched by a heartfelt delivery. Group vocals solidify the ongoing message of forging ones own path even in adversity. “Seven Thirty-Seven” carries the theme of previous track building a broader range with a spoken word bit, and a sound bite with singing interlaced. Guitarists have fantastic flow with one another, complementing, never competing. 

“Against the Grain” really brings forth an aggressive sound, a sort of turning point of the EP. There is a super sick breakdown lead by the bass and drums. Angsty group vocals give validity to the essence of being true to oneself even if different from everyone else. This track runs right into the following, “Castaway,” which carries on the hardcore sound and relentlessness. The bass' strongest representation is in this track.

The album concludes in addressing the goals and aspirations set in opening track “CMLXX” with “Make Your Mark.” Jon Vela (As The Sky Darkens) has a guest vocal spot on this final track. The Alan Watts lecture woven into the song is a prose to living purposefully by doing what fulfills you, and not the status quo. The lyrics and sound bites couple together really well with the music.

CMLXX, as a whole, is a well articulated path from having a dream, working towards succeeding while taking on pitfalls and challenges that try to hold you back, and accomplishing a goal. Clever use of sound bites saturate the album, however, they are relevant to the theme and truly enhance the experience. ARRAS has an impressive EP in CMLXX, definitely check it out.

Rating: 4/5

Listen to "Against the Grain"


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