In Transmission—the utterly demolishing new full-length album from the Louisiana-based metallic hardcore crew Capra—bursts with scorching rage.
With the intensity of exploding dynamite, the album—which is available now from Metal Blade Records—sounds like it depicts an existential struggle for survival against aggressors including one’s own self. At times, it’s an inward fight as much as it’s an outward one.
On “Torture Ship,” the group’s vocalist Crow Lotus, whose performance often sounds like a volley of self-exorcising frenzy, proclaims “Don’t die before the grave!” delivering a striking plea to hang onto life amidst lashing waves of threatening inner turmoil.
Across In Transmission, the songs prove captivatingly dynamic, but they’re also menacingly formidable, and the strength across the roaring instrumentals helps make the stakes feel high. The album’s fiery sonic fury sometimes feels noticeably anthemic, including on tracks like “Mutt” and “Transfiguration,” but there’s also an often present edge of ragged emotional desperation.
Overall, the album is quite simply heavy-as-hell, with roaring guitars, earth-cracking drums, and bellowing basslines, and moving through the record feels like observing some kind of metaphysical cleansing in which audience participation is required.
Speaking of audience participation, Capra sound truly invigorating, and the songs across In Transmission would no doubt go over awesome in a live setting. From its more breathable moments to the parts where the album turns into a cathartically exhilarating and adrenaline-drenched firestorm, the energy is just electrifying.
For the most part, besides remaining thunderously heavy, Capra also prove frantically energetic, as though somehow musically capturing the precise moment of a mental breaking point and suddenly purging whatever debris has been left behind. The truly weighty energy barely ever lets up.
It’s cathartic in the sense of a kind of resounding freedom, but the album never gets too far from the wrecking agony that fuels the journey. The album feels very emotionally realistic, a sense that Capra amplify with their often somewhat free-wheeling rhythms. There’s some stark chaos across most of the record, as if the storm that the band are capturing is steadily picking up. Often, the strikingly emotive instrumentals themselves feel angry, and the bursts of energy are, for the most part, relatively unbridled.
Tone-wise, Capra sound pretty abrasive, and their songs often prove relatively thick, like diving headfirst into some kind of potentially suffocating fog. The bulldozing rage mostly stays firmly in place across In Transmission, making the album feel as though it captures a moment when a sense of shredding angst has suddenly become inescapable.
There’s a touch of melancholy in some of the dramatically swinging rhythms, and this element helps drive the album’s desperate push. There’s no apparent option here to undo some of the underlying circumstances — the tumult is firmly in place—so Capra turn their attention to a lively fight for security, and it’s exhilarating.
By the end of the record, when Capra mellow out a bit on part of “Samuraiah Carey,” there’s a sense that the storm has cleared (somewhat) and the surroundings are flattened and strewn about—but you’re still standing.
Purchase this album at this link.