There are two arguments to make over this album.
The negative first: musically this is hugely similar to what Pendulum did a few years back, mixing rock and dance, specifically Dnb, though Qemists have more rock beats. Still, it’s a decade since Hold Your Colour and eight years since the big one, In Silico, so there’s a new generation of fans who’ve not heard of Pendulum. Lyrically (and in sound) there’s also a clear similarity to Enter Shikari, with comments on world affairs delivered via a mix of screamed and sung vocals.
On the plus side: they’re good at what they do and with the clock stopped for Pendulum, there’s always room for a shouty loud band playing exciting dance music. And it is exciting: like Pendulum, the Brighton band deliver high energy rock with a DnB feel and it’s designed to create a throbbing mosh pit. Even though we’ve heard it before, it’s still enjoyable.
It opens with Our World, a spoken intro with atmospheric, almost orchestral synths, which opines that the world is not a machine driven by “fuel, profit, emotion or God” but by truth. Deep, man.
The first full-on track is Jungle where it all kicks off and nu-metallers Hacktivist join in. If you’ve heard Pendulum, you can guess the sound. Guitar riffs, dance beat, rapping, loud.
There’re more of the same on the DnB-heavy Run You (as in “don’t let them…”): “It doesn’t matter what they say / I won’t accept it in any single way / And out through the floors and out through the cabling / They’re permeating it through every single day” probably being a fair summary of their politics.
It’s all pretty full bore but some songs are more measured than others giving variation, and it warms up as it plays through, tracks eight (of 12) We Are The Problem and nine Let It Burn being standouts. Closer Requiem is as grandiose as it sounds and rounds up most of the sounds heard on the album, building to a crescendo. Exciting sounds, lyrics you can shout to at gigs, what more do you want?