Review: Dan Maynard
In a little over a decade, Sydney metalcore outfit Polaris have proved themselves more than just worthy. Having discovered them for myself when I photographed them at the Download festival in Sydney 2019, even in that short 4 year span Australia and the world alike have witnessed the band propel themselves into the realm of Australian metal royalty. And their latest album Fatalism may possibly be the benchmark that steps them up onto that top pedestal, to be finally recognised on a global scale of royalty.
Opening track Harbinger is the epitome of the perfect way to begin an album. It spends the first almost two minutes building, layering ambience, electronics and Jake Steinhausers stunning vocal chord progressions that eventually lead into an epic second half that explodes into a massive heavier expansion on the first half, now bringing Jamie Hails screams into the mix. This track is nothing short of the best representation of what is to come over the next 45 minutes.
Track three, Parasite opens with an almost industrial nu metal feel, quickly turning into a brutal tear of raw hate. Destructive and upbeat, with a synthetic brutality to it that stands apart from the rest of the album as its own thing, all the while staying true to the feel of the album as a whole. That is where Fatalism shines, not only in its sheer crisp production value and layering, but as a metal album how it flows so perfectly and elegantly, which these days isn’t always a main focus.
I find it compelling just how much this band progresses as musicians with each album, growing as writers and each turn around finding new ways to make the contrasting vocals between Hails and Steinhausers work on a more atmospheric way, creating a space for each other to shine, neither taking the spotlight more than the other. Understanding more and more where the vocals should express a more aggressive tone, or an emotional progression that brings the feel of the track somewhere else. Jake also appears to be making huge strides, progressing his vocals further, I feel as though this is Jake at his best, God knows where this guy is gonna go with the next album.
Fatalism is nothing short of the best album Polaris has released to date. With every album we see the band grow bigger and better (which honestly seems impossible each time). The album holds some of the biggest and heaviest riffs on any Polaris album. The bridge in mid track The Crossfire for example, following track Dissipates outro is gut wrenchingly heavy; and as we all know, the first released single Inhumane displays absolute anger, being the heaviest track on the album.
I won’t lie, I was unsure whether it was appropriate to mention the passing of our brother, lead guitarist Ryan. But, it would also be a disservice to not do so. Ryans contribution on this album is unmatched and I hope he knows just how incredible Fatalism truly is. He was playing on a whole other level, doing things we had never heard him do before. He has left me with what has become one of my all-time favourite guitar solos, Inhumanes insane solo is one that myself as a guitarist believe is unlike any other solo.
I hope Polaris know that despite this tragedy and incredible loss, they are about to release quite possibly the album of the year and I hope they can hold that to their heart and be proud of themselves and Ryan.
Everyone needs to play this album as loud as possible, sing it as loud as possible, air guitar as hypothetically loud as possible, go to the nearest show you can get to, show these guys why we love them.
FATALISM OUT FRIDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
PRE-ORDER FATALISM HERE
Destroy All Lines, Resist & triple j Present
FATALISM AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2023
WITH VERY SPECIAL GUESTS
AUGUST BURNS RED
KUBLAI KHAN TX & CURRENTS
THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER – METRO CITY, PERTH (18+)
SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER – MARGARET COURT ARENA, MELBOURNE (LIC AA)
SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER – HINDLEY ST MUSIC HALL, ADELAIDE (LIC AA) SOLD OUT
TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER – US REFECTORY, CANBERRA (18+)
WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER – BAR ON THE HILL, NEWCASTLE (18+) SOLD OUT
FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER – FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE (LIC AA) SOLD OUT
SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY (LIC AA)
Tickets from www.destroyalllines.com