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Album Review: Senator - X:XVI

Senator were recently chosen by Rocksound and Dan P. Carter to play a Maida Vale session for Radio 1’s Rock show and showed exactly why they deserved to be there. With their mix of brutal hardcore and ambient suspense, which ebbs and flows before crescendo’s quite literally crush the tension with brute force and throat tearing screams, however clichéd the term, it’s never been so relevant.

‘Infinite’ slowly creeps in with heavy, slow guitars and the crashing of symbols but before your comfortable ‘Terrier’ kicks in. Beginning with a slightly more straightforward fast hardcore sound and a short spurt at just under two minutes long, something this band started off doing before experimenting with their sound, slowing things down at times and bringing progressive elements to it. ‘Red Hell’ begins a slow chuggy affair before thrashing its way through with some nice and dirty gang vocals and backed by some hefty percussion.

‘Serpents’ feels like the strongest and most refined song on the EP. At just over five minutes it takes you through a fast paced assault before slowing the tempo and giving the guitars room to experiment with some melodic riffs, still holding onto a heavy chug in the background making the sound huge, with the atmosphere building before it explodes towards the end. You come to realise how well Senator create tension and keep their sound exciting by adding new elements to the structure, playing around with progressive metal influences.

‘Thick Skinned’ is structured in the same vein, and at just over six minutes swells and breaks with precision making for an epic track. The vocals from Sam Reece are delivered with the rawness of distraught last words, he rasped his way through the track with a more lyrically pronounced delivery. These Pompey lads are excitingly aggressive and deserve every bit of recognition they have received over the past couple of months. Need anyone say more?


'X:XVI' by Senator is out now and available from Senator's BigCartel

Senator on MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.

Connor O’Brien

Alter The Press!