May 25, 2024

New Fury Media

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Erra’s ‘Cure’ is going to take the progressive metalcore band to the next level

First impressions are everything. Alabama progressive metalcore band Erra established themselves early on with a one-two punch of 2011’s Impulse</em> and 2013’s Augment, two of the genre’s biggest moments. Even amongst a sea of competition, Erra was able to cement their place in the music scene, despite a handful of lineup changes that could cripple many others. With their sixth album, Cure, Erra’s popularity is ready to match their obviously immense talent.

After taking a couple albums to find their sound with a new lineup, though (don’t get us wrong – both Drift and Neon are good records), Erra’s 2021 self-titled album showcased a quantum leap in songwriting skills. With the synergy between newer vocalist JT Cavey and guitarist/vocalist Jesse Cash becoming far more apparent, it’s easy to see why it was such a success, landing Erra some of their biggest tours to date as well. Persistence is finally paying off for them, and in a big way. Much of their more recent material has found a balance between increased accessibility and not sacrificing what they’re known for.

Cure is absolutely not the sound of a band crawling backwards (out of heaven) to restore former glories. That would mean they’re listening to all the fans who still complain that they’ll never write something as great as 2013’s Augment (which is, to be fair, an incredible work on its own). Instead, Erra opts for careful experimentation and growth instead of any drastic changes, finding a healthy balance between their eras (lol!) on pre-release singles “Pale Iris” and the title track.

Several of these songs take surprisingly bold risks, with most of them paying off in spades. “Blue Reverie”, the longest song on the album, is a great example of this. While initially it may seem like a Ghost Atlas song (Jesse Cash’s side project, which is also fantastic) with some Erra elements thrown in, it’s a swirling progressive metalcore epic that will no doubt impress those who hear it. The gamut of influences here is rather impressive, too – just after the second verse, there’s guitar that is definitely influenced by Tool’s “Vicarious”. The melodic opening shows Tycho as a clear influence (Awake // Simulcast-era Tycho, anyway), and the breakdown is scintillating to boot. That’s definitely not all, of course. “Slow Sour Bleed” is guaranteed to translate well to a live setting, with pulsing electronics (reminiscent of HEALTH) leading the way. It’s also one that keeps the listener quite off-balance, which is a positive thing. “Rumor Of Light” comes armed with the tempo changes that Erra are quite skilled at, along with a fantastic solo as well.

The second half of Cure is solid as well. “Crawl Backwards Out Of Heaven” is probably the album’s heaviest track, but even it doesn’t come without a surprise – namely the song’s tense midsection. It’s one of many songs with more of an industrial // electronic vibe than ever before, which is the kind of experimentation that will surely draw in new fans. Even songs that channel their earlier material have plenty of merit. “End Of Excess” wouldn’t be out of place on Drift, with its atmosphere channeling the best parts of that album. More accessible fare like “Past Life Persona”, while perhaps one of the weaker songs on the album, still has plenty of quality as well. The more poppy nature of it, though, may surprise you at first.

Overall, Erra’s Cure mostly accomplishes what it set out to do. With their identity intact, subtle experimentation was the goal here instead. Surely one of the band’s best albums, it should take Erra to the level in a way that their talent shows they’ve deserved for so long.

We don’t usually score albums, but this one’s getting a 9/10 from us.

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