The Real War — Ecclesiast (Album Review)

Sancrosanct Records is a label that even though seems to be eclipsed by some of the bigger independent labels out there but, as they say…. smaller isn’t always the worst way to be. Quality over quantity has always been a core belief for me whether it be in general every day life, work, music and
the daily living of an everyday person in this ever changing world of opinions, life choices and madness in some cases.

The ever changing scene in the Metal industry constantly fascinates me as when metalcore on the decline like most of metal genres over the last 30 or plus years, have had bands intertwining married music to gain that extra edge without becoming a stagnate band that sounds the same of current trends. Ecclesiast hailing from the midwest of the USA, these guys have their fingers on the pulse.

“Acclamation” settles with a smooth haunting acoustic that strikes the cords when it suddenly breaks into a bombastic intro which creates excitement that pulsates in an immediate trash/metalcore outfit that really holds you with no regrets. Melodic nature with impressive and intense vocal, with melting anything that you have experienced in a creative and yet drastic beginning of any album.

“Welcome Home” has a quality that overlaps with the first song as it wow’s the listener with aspects of intensity and resolve as it creates the foundations to keep you intrigued beyond measure. With clarity vocals that are existent in this masterpiece which let alone makes you crave for more with the level of creativity that constantly hunts you down as a predator on it’s own.

When you suddenly think all things go flat, think again with “Leave Me For Dead” that drastically kicks your butt, with it’s thrash metal goodness directs you into the bands vision with a very strong noticeable thrash metal stance, which completely rips you through the guts, as their high intensity brings Ecclesiast to an evolutionary peak and to a whole new level, with a cranking guitar solo and brutal guitars helps this monster track make some serious noise.

“Vices” with a much slower execution moves back to their melodic metalcore sounds with clear vocals dominate within the bridge, still toying with thrash elements in-between the more pop driven outlay it brings but, the track is still holding the backbone that has been already been established by the band.

“The Darkness” has more of the hardcore influence sounds vocally that I didn’t even expect from the start of the track. When it went the way with the first half of the album, that the groove driven identity broke in quite early as it was back on track with the existing brand of music that I expected earlier. This track is more the most experimental of them all. It was certainly a break from what has been delivered so far but, still times of intensity and abstract vision and still gave as good as it got.

“The Real War” is an instrumental in it’s own path and right, was a much more slower approach that through current delivering on this album has actually impressed me a lot. Much more of a slow paced opus song as in (letting the music share the story) kind of thing, has really made this a strong track which is merited for its own rights. As I really love the groove aspect of the song and even bursting with intensity, that I really dig the guitars…… Of the guitars make the difference here as the twins talk with some brass being shown across the plains of musical harmony. One of the best instrumentals that I have heard in quite a while that captures what the whole heart of the song and including the album in it’s identity.

“Call To Arms” (Won’t Come Back) issues a warrant in itself as this track continues the flowing current that Ecclesiast are all this time trying to achieve with great measure of course. Fast double bass and guitars that flow to dynamic chorus, still keeping up with the more thrash influences that have already made themselves widely known, with classic metalcore breakdowns they have really created a element that keeps the ball rolling and striking the ball hard at first pitch.

“The Anti God” finalises things with what Ecclesiast had began to do with their high paced speed and groove driven elements that grasp at everything which has been expected throughout this really great album. More a relation to the metalcore side of the band in the beginning and it holds its own throughout the first part of the song, until their blasting solos’ and trash metal dominance takes over with the speed and elegance as they present some classic riffs that even I melted too.

Seriously a great album from the boys. Really a thought out process and musically entertaining to say the least. The quality succumbs the quantity as Ecclesiast have really outdone themselves with some amazingly but, raw and great produced musicianship that wants me to put them into my top 5 of 2019.

Christian Sullivan 9/10

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