Tera’s dark, despairing vision of a dire, bankrupt world is delivered with top-notch metal-core musicianship that brings relentless intensity to every moment. But that ultimately proves to be a nagging handicap. The strengths of a song like “Shots Go Off,” for example, are undermined when singer Brandon Bowman is pummeled by weapons-grade guitars and drum and a suffocating sense of too damn much going on. The screamo stampede “Whispers of Contempt” gets a better sound mix, its stage-5 roar alternating (and at times blending with) Bowman’s soaring, suffering vocals. But the band’s desire to dazzle us proves overwhelming. A highly talented act, these Texans could throttle down and thrive.
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