It’s fair to to say that as a genre, Metalcore has taken a savage beating over the last decade. The genre rose to prominence with the work of pioneers who varying degrees part built upon the Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal sound and incorporated Hardcore elements and after two generations of bands the genre reached its peak and then fell away dramatically due to over commercialisation, a number of cookie cutter acts and a general watering down on quality, all of which happened to Nu-Metal before it. 2021 however has seen something of a resurgence in the genre with a number of bands using it as a foundation to place their own stamp upon and following last week’s release of “Emerge” by Everture via Inverse Records, it seems that the genre has found a new home in Finland.
Although I At Last, who comprise Henry Manninen (Vocals), Roope Lappalainen (Guitar), Juha Rantala (Guitar), Roberto Rivera Pöyhönen (Bass) Niko Haavisto (Drums) have declared themselves as disciples of Metalcore and claim to represent the genre, they have gone to lengths to ensure that they have taken the best of it and escaped the pitfalls that so many have become trapped within. As guitarist Roope Lappalainen explains: “Influences for the EP can be found in several different genres, but in the end when someone asks what I At Last sounds like, I would say it sounds like us. The sound of ‘Magenta’ creates a good overall picture of who we are and what kind of music we want to create”
After all that build up as the Kraftwerk inspired synths and programmed drums of “Lilian” take hold you may wonder exactly what you’ve tuned into but as the unclean vocals build up behind the cleans it becomes apparent that something is coming so when the guitars drop in for a heavier moment it’s a piece of genius. When they fade out it becomes apparent that I At Last have taken a risk as first impressions are so important and some may have switched off before “Divine” starts. A full throated Metalcore onslaught in the traditional sense, it also has elements of Post-Hardcore in the mix during the cleaner sung moments while maintaining that galloping pace that the genre is known for and the synths nowhere to be seen. Continuing where it’s predecessor left off “Wake” roars like a caged Lion while introducing Black Metal influences with blast beat bursts, chord progressions and lung busting roars from Manninen that leave you in no doubt as to his talent. The lyrics maybe introspective but the pit won’t care as the riffs and grooves are more than enough to carry crowd surfers to paradise at shows. How you get from those synths of the opening cut to the DJent fuelled passage in “Mother” that also rampages into Black Metal post chorus beggars belief and in the one song they cover off no less that six Metal sub-genres with seamless consummate ease. Then in plot twist akin to that of Sixth Sense, “From Within” has a off kilter Jazz inspired introduction that then drops into Progressive Metalcore with incendiary bursts of tempo shifts pushed by Haavisto. On paper this should sound like train wreck but through dedication to their craft, I At Last have created a record that is both challenging and ultimately a rewarding listen [7.5/10]
“Magenta” by I At Last is out 26th March via Inverse Records and is available over at bandcamp