Released earlier this year on March 18th, freshman album Impact Velocity, by metal band Menace, is a unique blend of metal and rock. You can expect an experimental nature to the album, but in the best way possible. American guitarist and back-up vocalist for Napalm Death, Mitch Harris is the brain behind the sound. Although this album was created as a solo project for Harris, he considers it more than that. “The band is called Menace, but to me, it is more than just a band or a solo project,” states Harris in a blabbermouth.net interview. “It is the result of my life’s work. It’s a concept that has been in production for some time with most of the songs and intense work being done in the last two years.”
Menace is comprised of members Mitch Harris (vocals, guitar and synth), Derek Roddy (drums and percussion), Fred Lecercq (bass), Nicola Manzan (strings and electro sub) and Shane Embury (bass). Impact Velocity was produced by Russ Russell and includes guest vocals from Sequoia Harris-O’Reilly.
Harris was born in Queens, New York but currently resides in Birmingham, England. Harris describes Menace as blending the opposing aspects and incorporating them all into one. For instance, melodic sounds with heavy, and old sounds with new. I can definitely agree with Harris in this respect, as I found many contrasting elements all juxtaposed in one.
The album opens with the track “I Live With Your Ghost.” I’d consider this one of the highlights of the album. It has high energy but delivers a deep message. This song is very relatable, dealing with the topic of loss and being left behind, with lyrics like, “To each other, we’re both dead but sharing the same space, sharing the same space.” The guitar consists of heavy riffs with pounding drums and bass accompanied.
In fact, I throughly enjoyed the first few tracks of the album, such as “Painted Rust” and “Multiply Clarity.” Although these tracks all embody a different sound, they all contain amazing lyrical quality with music that fits the tone of each song. For instance, “Painted Rust” has a softer and more melodic tone to it because it is personal and intimate, while “Multiple Clarity” is rougher and has an air of silent understanding to it, like the narrator has gained some sort of understanding, hence the title choice.
As the album came to a close, it began to fizzle out for me. The last couple of tracks sounded alike and I found myself zoning out. Specifically, the last two tracks “Seamless Integration (Full Version)” and “Insult to Injury (Bonus Track)” just didn’t cut it for me. They both incorporated the use of a robotic sounding narrator, and it just didn’t hold my attention as well as the previous tracks. Personally, I thought the album had variety and was interesting, I just didn’t like the way that it ended.
In all, Impact Velocity proves to be an interesting album filled with many complex elements transposed into one. Although I believed the album could have ended on a stronger note, it is definitely worth a listen (especially the first three tracks). Although a tour for the band hasn’t been confirmed yet, I’d say to stay on the lookout. In the meantime, you can listen to the album and have a mini concert of your own.