Louis Pelingen

June 25, 2023

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

This band spatters powerful metalcore instrumentation with new age synths and sounds typically associated with vaporwave on this tightly-wound release.

The cross-section between a genre like metal and more convoluted electronic movements like vaporwave can be more comfortable than you may think. At a surface-level analysis, these sorts of genres are vastly different from each other in terms of mood and style. Metal tends to be heavy and thrashing, as noted by its thorny instrumental melodies and extreme vocal takes, while vaporwave tends to be languid and reflective, with the help of retro synths and obscure samples. These genres naturally lead in different directions but, when melded together, can prove uniquely powerful, which the music of artists like winterquilt and Fire-Toolz, and projects like Zone Eater vs. Sea of Dogs can attest to.

Flying towards this mesh of genres, fromjoy continue to develop their vaporwave-fused metalcore even further in their self-titled record. Right from the jump, the swells of glossy synths cocoon around the band’s anguished breakdowns on accela, spurred onwards by the angelic vocals and pulsating house-y beat. The song also marks a shift in themes on the project. Nihilist wallowing still lurks in the narrative, but compared to the inner rumination of it lingers, fromjoy certainly lift their heads with a more emotively charged sound.

Within this mayhem, there are other individuals accompanying fromjoy’s soundscape. Connor Sweeney’s guitar contribution around the spiky drum patterns on morbidly perfect is feverish, crumbling apart as it reaches the end of the song. Past the straightforward metalcore breakdown on docility comes along a brief breakcore switch-up at the 1:16 minute mark, allowing PeelingFlesh’s guttural howls to break free like Cerberus out of its cage. Finally, iRis.EXE’s somber melodies lend a different contrast on seraph. Her voice is a balm to the wound as her entrance at the 0:53 minute mark impacts the flow of the track. The metallic breakdowns get tempered and the peaceful glimmer of vaporwave synths takes centre-stage.

The incorporation of thoughtful, electronic aspects into the soundscape lends the album a semblance of hope, allowing the band spread their wings like some shadowy protagonist in a gothic tale. Overtly hopeful moments can be heard on of the shape of hearts and humans and Icarus, where meditative vocal melodies and the blankets of soft synth chords balance and even overwhelm the caustic shrieks and metallic breakdowns. It goes to show the light within the darkness that fromjoy observes from time to time, even if that light may be brief and scarce.

fromjoy’s self-titled album is a journey of destructive metalcore counterpointed in moments by synths and melodies inspired by vaporwave and other thoughtful electronic genres. Enveloping other artists into this powerful release allows the band to reach higher heights than ever before, diversify their melodic passages and strengthen a daring style. Listening to the record is scorching, but also rejuvenating at the same time.