When I first heard Faceless, the last E.P from this metal outfit from Colorado Springs, it was evident that lots of polish had been rubbed over their raw persona. And I liked it. But this is coming from a person that has a 10-1 collection of Brit-pop, indie rock, and punk in her personal music collection compared to hardcore and metal releases.
At the same time, it doesn’t keep me from keeping being able to tell talent from incessant screaming that seems to pass for singing along with guitar flailing, which seems to have invaded the metal music charts like a swarm of locusts. There is simply more to making music, whether its hardcore or fluffy emo rock, than doing the hair windmill on stage and making people’s ears bleed, sounding like 100 other blood and guts bands who are all doing the same thing (they even look the same…unfold your arms already, we know you’re a badass, and you look like you could use some fiber).
Aggressive Persuasion has always seemed to understand this, and it’s the main reason why they can continue to tour, get sponsored, and most importantly, why their fans continue to support them.
Although they don’t share the same sound as Deftones, AP has that same rare ability to blend a thrashing energy (and yes, those growls and heavy guitar) that makes you want to run the 100-yard dash like you’re an Olympic champion, with lush vocal harmonies and musical melodies, providing that perfect balance of surround-sound songwriting in a hardcore forum.
This time around with Prolonged Farewells they don’t have the fancy shmancy producer as with Faceless; they’ve gone back to the basics, which I believe reveals a truer sense of who they are (although that EP is still a great nod to their talent). Instead it was Dave Otero from Denver’s Cephalic Carnage (who are nationally known in their own right) who provided his engineering and producing skills (not counting his infamous numchuck skills, which doesn’t appear on the album).
After listening to this last release, I can tell every one of the members have evolved and grown over the years. Many miles of touring, numerous shows, and tons of practice time have paid off for this foursome – from Steve’s vocals to Rich’s pummeling of the drums. Prolonged Farewells has further reinforced the fact that Aggressive Persuasion continues to be one of my favorite metal bands.
The AP band celebrates this release on Saturday, June 25 at the Ogden with Synthedic Delusion, Gridlokt, Son of Man and Downtide.