Upon hearing these rising stars from the UK, my initial reaction to Internal Conflict was nostalgia. I was immediately transported to the mid-2000s: a time where metalcore was starting to take a more creative approach to the metal genre as a whole. Their musicality is a combination of Of Mice & Men’s Self-Titled, and Messengers by August Burns Red. Much like any metalcore band nowadays, they combined the sounds of the bands they love to make something uniquely their own.
The production quality is fairly decent; the album sounds like it was done by someone who knew what they were doing, and that makes me a happy camper when listening to unsigned bands. The album opener “Darkest Before Dawn” almost pays a tribute to the late As I Lay Dying with harmonized guitars creating the musical theme of the entire record.
Unfortunately for me, this record sounded like one long track; there was very little distinction between each track on the album, which could be the choice of the writers. Overall the album carries consistency throughout, and the musicality definitely makes up for that the similarity of the tracks. All of the songs are free form, and the writing is technical in all aspects. Special credit goes to Dan Robbins on drums, who captures the flawlessness of Matt Greiner (from August Burns Red) with the style of Luke Holland (The Word Alive), and to bassist Dan Laffar, who demonstrates the utmost virtuosity by following rhythm and lead parts with ease and precision. All sections of this album are very creative, and I love the signature harmonized lead guitars by Sean Rice and Matt Hall that bring the band together. The only criticism I have is that, in my opinion, vocalist Adam Kyle needs to change his style. I found it really hard to listen to him, considering that this style of music requires screaming and not yelling. However, in songs like “Another Day” and “Lessons,” the parts where he speaks are enough to make anyone appreciate the British for their mastery of the English language. He reminds me a lot of Jacob Luhrs, except with only the high register of his range.
Overall, this record stays true to the roots of metalcore, as opposed to where it’s headed right now. No, these guys aren’t playing with 9-strings, nor do they ‘thall’ or ‘djent’; they don’t have to! I will be keeping an eye on this band to see what the future holds for them. If you’re looking for a blast from the past that’s done right, look no further than Internal Conflict. Their full record comes out July 2015 and you can download the title track by clicking this link below.
Written by Rian Cunningham