The inner workings of AMG Amateur Snob Musings Incorporated are deceptively busy. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes; between our editors perpetually cracking the proverbial whip in the name of proper formatting and the constant stream of new material poured into the promo bin, the blog is a well-oiled machine. Thus, even a minor wrench in the gears on the part of the writers is met with the most dire of consequences. Last week, that wrench was yours truly, as I turned in a late review due to a sudden bout of illness that caused last-minute work (and general annoyance) on the part of our editors. You know what they say: you mess with the bull, you get the ‘core. As I sit in the office shame corner spinning No Future, the third album of Wisconsin metalcore troupe Conveyer, a thought keeps crossing my mind: this could’ve gone way worse.

Conveyer is a metalcore act of the melodic hardcore persuasion. If you’re familiar with Canada’s Counterparts, they should serve as a recognizable jumping off point for Conveyer’s sound. Their compositions regularly oscillate from mid-paced metalcore chugs to neck-snapping hardcore drumming, and it’s in the latter sections where the band’s instrumentation is at its most inspired. Colorfully textured open-hand riffs create a unique dichotomy in context with the blistering kit work to make for some truly unique instances of conflicted adrenaline. There are still plenty of breakdowns, sure, and while they aren’t exactly inspired, they aren’t handled as mindlessly as I came to expect from Victory Records releases in my youth. They serve as emotional highpoints rather than bouts of brainless machismo, and when paired with Conveyer’s semi-frequent dives into post-rock spaciness, they can actually make for some pretty damn intriguing moments.

Of course, this is still a metalcore record, and as such it’s not free from the problems that have plagued the genre for ages, particularly in regards to Conveyer‘s performances. No Future’s slower moments can be particularly rote; the guitar and drum work lapse into predictable one-note patterns more often than I’d hoped, and when these instances are coupled with the predictably loud mixing of everything1, it’s difficult to keep my focus on the music. The vocals are totally predictable for the style, a mishmash mostly comprised of harsh, hardcore barks with a decent helping of angsty, annoying cleans and the occasional bout of gang vocals. No Future’s low points are certainly not offensive enough to make me want to turn it off, but as Conveyer is so clearly capable of crafting compelling self-contained passages, the record’s inconsistent compositions are more than a bit disheartening.

Not all of No Future’s tracks suffer from spotty quality, however. The ironically titled “New Low” is undoubtedly the album’s finest achievement and is enjoyable in its entirety, taking full advantage of Conveyer’s post-rock atmospherics and exciting tempo shake-ups by pairing them with the record’s most technical and effective riffs. “Haunt” is similarly flexible, cycling from weighty breakdowns to macho buttrock and even full-on thrash at its mid-point. The last few tracks could have benefited greatly from this sort of variety; though clocking in at little more than a half hour, it’s all too easy to predict the band’s rules of engagement roughly three quarters of the way through, where some of the Victory-isms (annoying vocals, breakdowns, etc) become more prevalent. The quality doesn’t really take a significant dip at this point, but greater track identity could have easily bumped my score up by half a point.

It’s been ages since I’ve vicariously kept up with the metalcore scene through the questionable tastes of high school friends, and while I only encountered Conveyer as a result of my own incompetence, I’m mostly glad I did. No Future is further proof that modern metalcore has more to offer for those who don’t dive headlong into the djent bandwagon, but it’s a tough sell for anyone other than genre devotees because it comes saddled with the same longstanding issues that turned me away from the style in the first place. Still, it isn’t half bad… well, technically it is half bad according to our scoring system, but you get the idea. If you think you have room in your diet for a side helping of metalcore, try it. You might like it.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Victory Records
Releases Worldwide: June 23rd, 2017

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  1. Except for – say it with me – the bass guitar.
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  • Spear

    I played a show with these guys a couple years ago and their bassist almost walked off with my amp. Good times.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      You almost got amputated.

      • Hulksteraus

        Droll ;-)

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Is that how they got all those amps they have in their picture?

      • Spear

        One can only assume

  • metalcasket

    So that’s what Rey Mysterio Jr. does when he’s not wrestling!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Nice wall of sound in the band photo, but it can’t compete with this:

    • sir_c

      This kind of brickwalling I like.

  • Reese Burns

    I’m a staunch defender of metalcore, but this just ain’t good. I’d have gone with a 1.0.

    • I’m a stalwart opponent, and you’re being too gentle ;)

      • Reese Burns

        If you don’t believe in the curative powers of metalcore, take two doses of early Sylosis, and call me in the morning. ;)

        • sir_c

          Sylosis, ain’t that some venereal disease?

          • Reese Burns

            They’re one of the best thrash bands out there! But before that, they were one of the best metalcore bands out there!

          • AndySynn

            I would have called them the British answer to Trivium… except where Heafy and co. tried to turn into Disturbed-esque arena rock, Sylosis at least tried to take some tricks from High On Fire, et al, before they went on hiatus.

          • Nukenado

            What Heafy is thinking is honestly beyond me. He has Capernaum and Shogun under his belt, has Ihsahn as a teacher and makes a cameo in Arktis., and then…
            Releases Silence In The Snow.
            At least… the production was good?

        • Dr. Wvrm

          You never disappoint me.

          • Reese Burns

            I take it you’re a Sylosis fan too?

          • Dr. Wvrm

            Since Edge of the Earth. Actually got a Monolith shirt on right now. Altered States of Consciousness was my super jam, once upon a time.

          • Reese Burns

            I’d say that Edge of the Earth is their first non metalcore album, but it’s their best album. And Monolith is Damn good as well, the version of Enshrined that has ten minutes of silence before the “hidden track” at the end was a cool move. And Altered States of Consciousness should be everyone’s jam, all the time. The riff that plays at the “submerged in azure waters” part gets me every time.

  • Mark Z

    I’ve been loving this type of music for the past 2-3 years or so, especially after finding Counterparts. Since discovering them they’ve gone from ‘just another plural noun band’ to one of my favorite bands in recent years. You’re right these guys aren’t quite as interesting, however, as they’re a lot less intricate and lack the same spark. Really good review however. Also, random, but “Dust” has almost exactly the same clean picked opening as Agalloch’s “The Melancholy Spirit.”

  • Thatguy

    It’s early in the morning here, and at first glance I read the dude on the right’s shirt as ‘Oakland Pizzles’. I don’t know if these guys are from Oakland, but pizzles is appropriate.

  • GWW

    I want to slap the singer.