Travel Amygdala – This Is Nothing EP (Self-Released)

Thursday, 2nd April 2015
Rating: 8/10

Once you discover the meaning behind this Revere, MA quintet’s moniker (amygdala referring to the part of the brain that houses emotions such as fear and rage as well as instincts), the band’s multi-genre cross pollination outlook makes all the more sense. Travel Amygdala on this 3 song release This Is Nothing provide almost 21 minutes of metal that blends together aspects of doom, grunge, and progressive rock – assaulting the senses in a variety of directions depending on the vocal or musical focus at hand.

Often the hooks come from the darker recesses of the band’s style, such as the first song “Family Tree” which allows bassist/vocalist Josh J. a chance to move from like a Pink Floyd meets Tool bounce as the guitar riffing churns in a circular, pounding semi-doom meets alternative platform while the vocals move from semi-melodic/hypnotic to all out vessel bursting screams. The 8-minute plus title track traverses more left field dynamics, the melodies often drawn out on the end of verses as the guitars, bass, and drums form this unified progressive alternative rock meets metal movement – using a lot of repetitive guitar bends and high neck action for fuller effect around the last third of the song.

“Died by A Bullet” closes things out, a serene, tranquil opening gives way to an interesting mid-tempo change before the fearful Pink Floyd meets Alice in Chains/Black Sabbath doom parts take over – the tennis match keeping your ears abuzz. Drummer Alex P. has a lot of free flow fill action going on amidst his solid groove ethics and as a result places this in my favorite song category. Dual vocals from keyboardist Derek J. and Josh J. offer up a plethora of possibilities, from caustic blackened/ death screams to more understandable alternative rock/clean melodies.

Together since 2009, Travel Amygdala possess a lot of traits that make their style entertaining. Preparing to finish recording a full-length album that will hopefully see the light of day later in the year, this 3 song EP gives enough material to decide whether their hypnotic, grungy progressive doom rock is in your wheelhouse. A band to watch for certain.

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