Review: “Aporia” by Internal Conflict

“The name ‘A P O R I A’ initially spoke of the difficult times we have gone through personally in the last few years, in and outside of the band”, explains frontman Adam Kyle. ” From family breakdowns, to mental health struggles, parenthood, life / work balance, and what it means to be a band in an age of digital revolution; all is laid bare. However, with the pandemic and growing cultural divisions, we put our feelings and thoughts into our music as a way to discuss where we, the human race, are right now. Ultimately, we are asking how to achieve happiness in a world that at times feels hopeless and filled with addiction, media influence, wealth or lack thereof, hate, and narcissism. It’s ok to not be ok, but we want to get better, and we want to help others if we can. This is where our lyrics live, amongst the hustle and bustle of life. We are not a political band, we but are political people. We hurt, we love, and we feel everything around us and channel it into our music”

Meaning ““An irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory or the expression of doubt”, the follow up to 2018 EP “Nothing Is Lost” from Internal Conflict has been mixed and mastered by Neil Hudson (Krysthla, From Eden To Exile) at Initiate Audio & Media Studios in Northampton, a man fast building a legendary reputation. The announcement of the release of “Aporia” couldn’t come soon enough for Adam Kyle (Vocals), Sean Rice (Guitar, Synth), Matt Hall (Guitar, Clean Vocals), Dan Laffar (Bass) and Chris Bentley (Drums) as the band have been announced to play the Sophie Lancaster Stage at the 20th Anniversary of Bloodstock Open Air this summer, meaning that fans have just enough time to learn the lyrics to this one before they take to the stage while enjoying the album’s stunning artwork was designed by Domonic Sohor (Raging Speedhorn)…

…with furious urgency “Kingdom of Apathy” sees Internal Conflict break the shackles of the past 18 months and deliver a punchy opening cut with flavours of “The Burning Red” era Machine Head in the satisfyingly crunchy guitar tone of choice. Neat tempo shifts with some subdued and almost mournful melodies show that the band have a good grasp on how to create atmosphere while “Paraesthesia” proves they have downtempo groove nailed with a crushing finale that you just want to continue. Kyle has an almost Hardcore Punk vocal style with barks that you might not necessarily consider unclean and the way that his vocals are intertwined with the cleans of Hall on the record gives the impression of a single vocalist as their accents are strikingly similar, something that really comes to the fore on “Atlas Down“. Uplifting and emotive and perhaps less angry and abrasive lyrically, the combination of grit and integrity in the heartfelt and very real lyrics shines through the album as a whole. Heavier riffs in the verses with more melodic choruses of sing a long appeal are easy wins for festival audiences and although bands like Feed The Rhino have already trodden this ground, there is nothing unappealing about that – there is plenty to bang your head or get in the pit to. The guitars are syncopated to the point that there are some points where it seems like there is only one and not two in the mix which is a mixed blessing; sometimes it works and sometimes it leaves the guitars sounding a little bit thin, saved some what by their choice of tone and in “Bleed The Sky” where they have more of a Metalcore approach, it pays dividends. The punchy staccato riffs of “Hollow Heart” build into creating stand out moment with the finest clean vocal on the album providing a dull ache of longing, like the prisoner reaching from the cell door to try and grasp the jangling jailers keys when they are just out of reach. “Kayfabe” sees the extremes push out and takes the biggest risk on of the record by increasing the melody and adding in some lead moments that are strangely absent elsewhere. Modern and slick there is no reason why this shouldn’t elevate the band to higher stages as it has mass appeal, what it lacks is that one moment of magic or that one big risk or left field idea to take it to the next level [7/10]

Track listing

1. Kingdom of Apathy
2. Paraesthesia
3. Atlas Down
4. Bleed the Sky
5. Hollow Heart
6. Traitorous
7. The Line
8. Kayfabe

Aporia” by Internal Conflict is out 9th July 2021 via PHD and should be available over at bandcamp

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