ALBUM REVIEW: WITHOUT GRAVITY – NAVIGATE

This very eclectic piece came out on October 22, 2021. Fusing together metalcore, pop punk, and hip-hop, Without Gravity are a band that know no boundaries, yet seamlessly blend these styles together to the point where it’s hard to notice, and almost impossible to categorize the band. Intelligently enough on their part, however, combining styles such as these allows them to craft songs almost anyone can enjoy. Let’s check out their new record, Navigate.

One thing I’ll say for the entire album is that it’s very high energy. Right from the intro track, “Embark”, things start moving. The pace quickens, the vocals transition from clean to harsh, the guitar and keyboard melodies are driving, gradually becoming more complex without losing their catchy factors. It’s an impressive build into the first full songs on the record.

When listening to track 2, “Skin and Bone”, the audience finally finds out what they’re in for, for the majority of the album. We’ve already discussed the clashing and fusing of genres here, but what I find most interesting are the VERY different artists I’m reminded of while listening to Navigate, song after song. The lower harsh vocals remind of me Rivers of Nihil, the main clean vocals remind me of Breaking Benjamin or Fallout Boy, and the overall blend of styles in many of the verse passages reminds of Amaranthe. I guess this just goes back to what I was saying about Without Gravity putting together smart song arrangements. A band like this has the potential to shoot straight to the top, catering to a far broader range of fans than most bands playing niche genres to niche crowds.

I also have to give props where props are due. The lead guitar work on Navigate is really impressive and it’s sprinkled everywhere. There are times when this music is just so poppy, the last thing you expect to hear is unrelenting melodic shred. But it’s there! Three key spots where I fell in love with the lead guitar playing were the bridge of “Skin and Bone” (solo), the intro of “Treading Water” (layup solo), and the chorus melody of “Treading Water” (complex, catchy overlay). For the most part, the solos on this album are dramatic, melodic, and reinforce the main chorus melody of the songs, but when these boys want to rip across the fretboard, nothing holds them back. I’m pretty sure “Treading Water” also throws in some Between the Buried and Me esque sweep picking during the outro/breakdown, but I could be wrong on the technique used there. I suppose, no matter what style the picking hand is incorporating, EPIC is the word that applies.

Without going on and on, analyzing every section of every song, I’ll simply say that Without Gravity’s Navigate is now a serious contender for national attention when it comes to the music scene of Western New York. So many younger, up-and-coming bands have been impressive the hell out of us lately, and Without Gravity are unquestionably one of them. These guys are incredible. Their songs are universally acceptable and enjoyable, their marketing is on point, the artwork is killer (Jamie Ervay), and overall, they’re such an easy sell to a potential multi-generational fanbase. I typically gravitate toward more extreme styles of metal, but this record will definitely be getting a few more spins from me before the year is out. Cheers.

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