It would be easy to just lump Letters From The Colony in the djent category with their Swedish countrymen Meshuggah. But Letters From The Colony only use some djent as part of their overall extreme metal/progressive metal sound. There are more influences at play on their debut album “Vignette,” an album that has been many years in the making.
When listening to Letters From The Colony, there are elements of tech metal like Fallujah and also the groove prog metal approach of bands like Gojira. But none of these influences, including that of OLDER Meshuggah (think: “Destroy Erase Improve”), ever dominate their music enough to be derivative of those bands. The second track “Erasing Contrast” has dashes of djent along with a jazzy Meshuggah like solo. While the amazing opening track “Galax” merges atmosphere with great riffs and an incredible closing solo that none of the bands mentioned have done.
The riffs on “The Final Warning” do have enough meat to be a Meshuggah riff. Vocalist Alexander Backlund has a great death vocal style. He does sound more like Jens Kidman but not a copy of him. Next, “This Creature Will Haunt Us Forever” represents an brief, peaceful instrumental reprieve from the onslaught. “Cataclysm” reminded me that I should mention the band Kataklysm as one of the minor influences on Letters From The Colony. The song veers from a midtempo groove to an over the top blast beat that would make Kataklysm fans happy.
“Terminus” has a massive low end to it with ethereal guitar lines over the top, which makes for a nice juxtaposition. The harmonics and riffs on the song remind me a bit of Gojira. The riffs on “Sunwise” are also Gojira like. The album closes with the 12 minute epic title track which is the perfect climax to the album, plus it highlights everything the band do well. Wait for the solo 4 minutes in! AMAZING TRACK!
The band started out 8 years ago and have battled lineup change after lineup change. Finally, they have their debut album out with “Vignette” and it’s a stellar piece of work. Hopefully, the band will continue to make great music and also evolve as they do. Letters From The Colony may not have invented their own brand of prog metal but they have all the ingredients for something quite tasty.
2. Erasing Contrast
3. The Final Warning
4. This Creature Will Haunt Us Forever
7. Glass Palaces
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 16 February 2018