Artwork of nature...
Black metal and metalcore – especially the more melodic and poppy variant of the genre – must surely be totally irreconcilable. Well, not if you ask the mysterious human-hating pro-animal band The Way of Purity who on Equate combine elements from those two genres.
Thus, the opening track 'Artwork of Nature' starts out with a metalcore breakdown-style groove before morphing into a black metal-style tremolo-picking-and-blast-beating passage. Drawing on the tense harmonies of black metal and the melody of melodic metalcore, wrapping it in layered guitars, The Way of Purity blend all of these elements into a quite compelling track in the form of this opener. While a lot of the tracks on the album definitely are interesting, I do not think that The Way of Purity manage to keep the same level of intensity throughout, and we see this already in the second track 'Death Abound Everywhere', which is more of a rhythm-based metalcore affair – complete with melodic and atmospheric keyboards, and, while there are some goodies and a brief blastbeat section in this track, it does not quite reach the same level of excellence as the opener. Throughout the album Way of Purity go back and forth between black metal intensity and the focusz on groove and melody known from melodic metalcore, often combining fluid dissonant guitars with more muscular metalcore breakdown-ish grooves. At their most melodic, Way of Purity inject an almost poplike dimension of melody into their music, which sometimes even have an alternative rock feel to it, while at other times entering into gothic metal territory.
The level of intensity is, as mentioned, a bit uneven, and I think that the more intense tracks actually to the less intensive ones a disservice, as the less intense tracks come across weaker than they actually are. On the other hand, the album is musically quite varied which is definitely a plus to many listeners. The danger is, however, that, in combining as diverse genres as black metal and melodic metalcore, the album might be rejected by most camps – the black metallers might reject it for being too poppy and the metalcore kids for being too harsh and intense. Personally, while I generally enjoy this album, I am not a big fan of the more pop-oriented inclinations on Equate, as I prefer the heavier and more aggressive elements.
For a band who sort a very brutal image, wearing balaclavas, refering to themselves as militant, happily posing for photo shoots depicting them doing various acts of misogynistic violence, and hoping for the day that mankind will meets its gory end, Way of Purity's music is incredibly melodic. While I do not really care for their frankly somewhat ridiculous image, their music - and that is the crux of the matter - is undeniably quite good, and, if you can accept the integration of the different styles mentioned above, then you are in for quite a ride.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)