I'll be the first to admit I've put it out there more than a few times I feel metalcore is just about dead. Error on my part or just wishful thinking, it appears, since the breakdown bands just keep on coming or they're still hanging about. I don't feel erroneous, however, in presuming the core demographic for this stuff belongs, by and large, to the youth of today. Thus metalcore continues to find targets and stay alive like that annoying bad boy or girl on "Survivor" most folks want Jeff Probst to snuff gone who yet persevere by continuously unearthing hidden immunity idols.
ADESTRIA is one of those hangers about and their latest album "Gilded Hearts" changes nothing about who and what they are. If you're a fan, an old fart like myself doesn't need to tell you to head straight to your favorite music shop or download hub at once.
What can be fair in saying about "Gilded Hearts" is that it's professionally laid out and executed, as far as metalcore goes. ADESTRIA incorporates all the elements (or clichés, if you will) this genus mandates in the way of breakdown-dependent chord patterns, abrupt speed interventions and phlegm-choked hard verse vocals mixed with sugary clean choruses. That being said, there's a hair more ADESTRIA offers than face-value.
The melodic opening to "Propheteering" is "Gilded Hearts"' moment of grace and if you're unfamiliar with these guys, it gives a pleasing, hopeful illusion there's something other than metalcore techniques to follow. Yes, but no. Not that each one of ADESTRIA's songs on this album are sheer replicants of each other; all of the required elements are delivered in expected doses, just with different arrangements. "Propheteering" at least bears a memorable clean chorus yielding a melancholic harmony prior to the ambivalent tolchocking of its subsequent breakdown segment.
"Children of the Machine" gets off to a jumpy start, even if it's merely a decorated breakdown to open the song prior to hitting a mosh medley and then a less-flashy, standard breakdown, so-on and so-forth. To describe the rest of this album's songs would be equally repetitive.
For up-and-coming metalheads, "Uncommon Trash" is going to ring like the heaviest mass they've ever heard, though ADESTRIA is far leagues away from say, THROWDOWN or EARTH CRISIS in the hardcore heaviness department. "Uncommon Trash" is genuinely ugly and painstaking and despite its obviousness songwriting-wise, it does sieve like tar before the end jam "Shared Scars" swings the album back into the prototype chunk, divot and croon plot.
The vocal courses ring a bit like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's Howard Jones between the traded woofs and cleans. Tedious as this gets unless you're not hung over on the style from countless bands preceding and rolling aside them, ADESTRIA are perfectly competent musicians. They have a lot more to offer than this since they have excellent chops. As long as metalcore continues to keep an open door for them, however, ADESTRIA sounds more than comfortable bearing this worn-out skin.