The Annex of Ire

Pelagic Records

The newest dispatch from thorny Vancouver metal arbour Neck of the Woods finds its rhythm method in the midst of madness. 

Six years into their licks, the progressive outfit’s impressive arch of ascent from a two-song demo in 2013, to the unveiling of their eponymous EP in 2015, to producing the saw-blade hum of their 2017 debut LP, The Passenger, is incontestable. 

Chromatic technical prowess gleams on “Ambivalence,” while the miopic soul-seeking of “Vision Loser” levels the landscape like an atomic blast. Jeff Radomsky’s voice rises above the fray of “Strange Consolation” before he finds solace in the guitar wire spires that pierce the celestial vault on “The Tower.” 

Built on a slicker-than-wet-asphalt foundation, thanks to the ministrations of Rain City Recorder producer/engineer Jesse Gander, the entire album hangs together with palpable cohesion and clarity of purpose. 

From the door-kick introduction provided by the title track it’s apparent that Neck of the Woods aren’t giving up any ground when it comes to the gritty gains they’ve made. 

Executing an exhaustive survey of how to stage a multi-genre metal war without sacrificing substance, Neck of the Woods finds room to roam within the untidy confines of The Annex of Ire.

Best Track: “The Tower”