Published Mar 01, 2017With their latest release, Buffalo unit Bungler take their unique medley of metalcore influences to new and interesting places, but in experimenting, they occasionally lose some cohesion. Combining bottom string riffing and vocal styles reminiscent of hometown heroes Every Time I Die, as well as structuring and melodic flow of Redeemer-era Norma Jean, the band have assembled an ambitious and heavy set of songs.
"Drowning in Oil" stands out as the most formidable song on the record, switching from chunky breakdowns to stop-start riffs accented with screeching feedback that builds in intensity, making for crushing drops. The production quality here adds to the effect, the guttural low end of the bass adding considerable weight to the overall mix. "Opia" follows suit, establishing atmosphere with a long and ominous sample before dropping into a sinister, hardcore-inspired swing.
Bungler's strength lies in their technical prowess and their ability to craft engaging rhythms, but "Dead Breath" falls flat once clean singing is brought into the mix, clashing with the underlying guitar parts. "Marrow" also stands out as a glaring tonal inconsistency, introducing campy electronic sounds and undoing the momentum of "Smooth Hysteria," which precedes it.
Despite this, Bungler have made a solid effort that distinguishes them from the bulk of other bands in the current heavy landscape, and The Nature of Being New is an engaging listen overall. (Innerstrength)