State Faults - Resonate/Desperate (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

State Faults

Resonate/Desperate (2013)

No Sleep Records

When looking at screamo, post-hardcore and black metal, one probably thinks that meshing them all into one may be a difficult balancing act. Listening to so many bands try this, I've realized it is. Pianos Become The Teeth and Deafheaven are two bands I can name who pull it off with precision, where the music is just as exact a science as it is an art. And while State Faults showed promise in the past that they could follow suit, Resonate/Desperate is their exclamation mark to the genre, succeeding in the moist noisy, boisterous and impactful manner possible.

Jonny Andrew's voice carries a ferocity that exponentially builds with each track; he's backed up well by the band, their multi-layered canvas expertly supplementing his raw power. When he showcases his range, swaying from shrill to piercing to guttural, it's scary. "Wildfires" represents that cutthroat aspect of the band built on Andrew's vocals and fiercely abrasive guitars. The balance of grimacing sound with melodic guitar work is strewn all over Resonate/Desperate, but what's most jarring is how each song goes for the jugular, whether it's that aforementioned melodic break or that hard-hitting, punishing crash led by Andrew.

The twinkly strums and isolated guitars add variety to tracks like "Disintegration," which is a song about as bleeding and jagged as you'd expect from State Faults, given how beautifully they crafted Desolate Peaks. The brash, bombastic and surprisingly ambient textures laid down are driven home with thunderous drums and a demanding, yet effective sentiment.

"Incantations" is confined to a dreamy, spectral musical skeleton which allows an exploration into how experimental State Faults can get. They add new routes and inhabit different realms compared to the roads taken on their older material. This dedication and growth make sense, given the full-fledged impact they wanted, and got here. There's little restraint on Resonate/Desperate, which an impressive expansion on the post-hardcore / screamo sound.

There's a tight-knit energy extended in the intensely brooding music of State Faults. The manner in which they incorporate experimentally atmospheric guitars, driving metallic riffs and soul-crushing vocals is one that you won't forget. In spite of its dark sound, Resonate/Desperate is the album to make you feel alive.