Discrepancies ‘The Rise’ Review: Second metal album from rap-rock band lacks motivation and direction
If we mention the names of the popular bands like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, POD, Rage Against The Machine and Korn, there is only thing common between all these groups ie. they all belong to the nu-metal/ rap core genre and following their footsteps, the four-member group called Discrepancies came into existence out of St. Louis, Missouri when they released their first single ‘Get Hype’ in 2014. Cut to October 2020, the quartet is all set to drop their second metal rap album titled ‘The Rise’ and third if we consider their very first not-so-famous underground EP titled ‘Discrepancies EP.’
Discrepancies comprise of Antonio Metcalf on the vocals, Garett Weakly on the bass, Addison Bracher on guitars/vocals and Steve Declue on the drums. The four friends who love completely different styles of music agreed on what they would strive to accomplish and allow everyone's ideas to blend, creating an innovative sound. Their new album is a follow-up to their 2018 project titled ‘The Awakening’ and comes with a total of 10 tracks.
Discrepancies’ ‘The Rise’ opens with ‘Undertow’ which took us back to the famous lyrics of Linkin Park’s song ‘Numb’ where they go like, “Caught in the undertow/ Just caught in the undertow.” However, this one is way different and way gory. The first few seconds of the song are very soft and sound extremely humble but the moment you blink, it transforms into a hardcore rap metal song. Antonio on the vocals goes like, “We're on the rise you probably face it, Went from an afterthought to the main topic of the conversation/ Get back to the grinding you should stop the hating, Cause persistence is key, and our progression is the confirmation/ Giving attention to critics is like swimming with sharks, They smell blood and they're tempted to rip you apart/ It's all love but we've gotta stay smart” It appears as if the frontman is preparing us for the rest of the album. The screeching guitar riffs and rapid drum kicks with deep and meaningful rap lyrics take you into a completely uncomfortable zone.
The second track from the album is called ‘Control’ and is surely one of the best tracks from ‘The Rise.’ The song opens with a mix of guitar and vinyl scratches which we rarely get to hear these days. It instantly grabs your attention and holds it for a long time. Throughout the song, we noticed neither the music gets a breather nor the frontman while spitting his rhymes. Also, this track comes with a catchy hook that might remind you of Linkin Park.
Next in the line is ‘Left to Drift’ which has one of the best drums and vocals introductions from the album. If released with a video, this song can surely go places. You might feel the rage of the frontman is missing but this song doesn’t require it. However, the song feels bumpy as the vocals and the background score go up and down in several places. ‘All My Love’ seems like Discrepancies have perfected the craft of catchy hooks mingled with stupendous drum work. The song runs for 3minutes 5seconds on the clock and we can guarantee you this is one of those songs which schoolboys memorise to show-off in front of their buddies. The rap vocals are much clear combined with good old fashioned metal noise. As the song ends, Antonio goes almost acapella and all we can hear is low-key electric guitar riffs and of course, we are not complaining.
For ‘Put ‘Em up, Discrepancies roped in the artist named Dub Flow. This is the shortest song in the album with only 2 minutes 31seconds on the clock. The metal rap song starts with Antonio spitting multi-syllable rhymes and continues it till the end of the song while the music keeps switching up at different places. What we loved about the track is how the frontman juggles with the flow. It’s seamless. Dub Flow also exhibits his sharp rap skills and for almost a minute we kind of forgot how the guitar riffs were backing them throughout the song. ‘Can You Feel It?’ is queued up next in the album and the group has balanced rap and metal very effortlessly here. You might be plugged into this song for days, as again this one comes with a catchy hook to hum along. This one is infectious.
By the time we reach to the next song titled ‘Crawling Back,’ we noticed that album is going softer on the music if we talk about the band promoting it as a nu-metal/rap core album. The rap lyrics don’t disappoint at all, however, they do feel repeated at places. Antonio raps, “It isn't hard to see if you take your heart from me, You'll take my everything and I can't keep/ I can't keep crawling back, And the words I say to you get mistaken as usual/ We ain't vibing like we used to communication is crucial, I'm losing my mind trying to fund wherever we lost touch/ If we deny natures design what will it cost us.” ‘Crawling Back’ is the longest song from the album with a duration of 4 minutes 20 seconds and it becomes unbearable and thus impossible to finish the track.
‘Light up the Dark’ and ‘Blame Me’ almost sound the same except the frontman changes his flow a bit in the latter. It appears as if he is racing to finish the album and is no longer interested in rapping on the metal music and all of a sudden everything feels meaningless. It is disappointing to see a rap-rock album going directionless especially when the possibilities are endless with rap and metal coming in one frame.
As the album ends with ‘Forever,’ the band finally tries to experiment and along with rap and rock, we also get to hear a lot of singing which proves to be a pleasant surprise.
We wish Discrepancies would have given more effort and time in the studio along with more dedication to their craft. Of course, with only two full-length projects in their kitty as of now, the band is still new in the game and they surely got a lot to learn from the stalwarts.
To sum it up, ‘The Rise’ is a brave effort from the Discrepancies and is experimental at places but lacks motivation and direction. The album has been mixed and mastered by Joey Sturgis & Tyler Smyth and is produced by Matthew Amelung, who has also given additional vocals in the album.
3 Left to Drift
4 All My Love
5 Put 'Em up (Ft. Dub Flow)
6 Can You Feel It?
7 Crawling Back
8 Light up the Dark
9 Blame Me
Discrepancies’ ‘The Rise’ releases on October 23, 2020, via inVogue Records and can be streamed here.