Interloper - "Search Party" (CD)
"Search Party" track listing:
2. Bound To Fall
6. Search Party
7. The Wishing Well
8. Idle Years
10. Baring Teeth
Reviewed by Diamond Oz on June 23, 2021
Despite forming back in 2014, this month sees the release of the first full-length album from Interloper, the progressive metalcore band featuring former members of Rings Of Saturn and live members of The Faceless. According to Metal Archives, the band says that they aim to "bring forward a new style of music that fans of all genres can enjoy and appreciate." So does this statement ring true on their debut, "Search Party"? Not in the slightest.
First things first, Interloper are not bad musicians. In fact, they're really good. This is especially evident on the opening track, "Pathfinder," which it could be argued is far and away the best track on the album. It's a bombastic burst of energy that features some outstanding guitar work and sweet melodies, though it is a little messy and goes on just long enough to start to feel slightly overstretched. Interestingly, this song features examples of both the best and the worst of Interloper.
Interloper's talent in terms of songwriting lies with the melodic aspects of their music. The title track, "Cheshire" and "Dreamlands" all feature some absolutely beautiful passages and intros that manage to be soothing while simultaneously rocking, somewhat reminiscent of Echobrain in that regard. Andrew Virrueta and Miles Baker are both superb guitarists and this can be heard particularly on the aforementioned songs.
As mentioned, the musicianship can only carry the band so far, especially on an album that is nearly an hour long. Despite some cool moments, there is nothing particularly original on display and it brings back memories of a wide range of bands from the 2000s, mostly metalcore, but there are even some songs that conjure up recollections of groups such as Alien Ant Farm and Blink 182 (particularly the beginning of "The Wishing Well" in the latter's case). In one way or another, if you've heard the melodic metalcore of fifteen years ago, you've heard more or less everything on "Search Party."
It doesn't take long for the songs to start blending together, with the likes of "Bound To Fall," "Moonlight," and "Drift" all being very forgettable and easy to stop paying attention to. The songwriting itself is messy and jumps around too much, trying to force as much into a track as possible without the need to. Subsequently, there are plenty of instances of sensory overload, and worse still, most tracks don't seem to know when to end and carry on like a drunken house guest who hasn't picked up the hints to leave.
Though it was mentioned earlier that this album won't appeal to fans of all genres, this type of music does have its audience. If you're a metalcore fan with a taste for the more melodic aspects, you'll probably enjoy "Search Party," but this isn't going to set the world on fire, or even spark much interest from those who don't care for the sub-genre. It's a frustrating album because the talent is there, "Pathfinder" is an excellent opener and when it hits, it really hits. But the songwriting is too scattershot to focus on any particular thing, leaving all positives, regardless of taste, feeling like teasers.
Highs: "Pathfinder" and the title track
Lows: Too many bland songs which outstay their welcome and an overall lack of focus
Bottom line: An overly long metalcore album, which despite showing promise, refuses to deliver.
Get more info including news, reviews, interviews, links, etc. on our Interloper band page.