At some point overnight on an insomnia-fueled YouTube surf, I stumbled upon a freshly released music video for ERRA‘s “Snowblood”. Before the video had even finished, I’d paused it to send the link to a friend saying “I’m in LOVE!”.
Back in the waking world, and with a press release about the song in hand, I revisited the new song from the Birmingham, Alabama quintet of Jesse Cash (guitar, vocals), JT Cavey (vocals), Alex Ballew (drums), Conor Hesse (bass), and Sean Price (guitar). The song comes in conjunction with the news of the band’s worldwide signing with UNFD, and I can already taste an album announce for their fifth studio album… at some point.
“Snowblood” is gripping from its dark synthy intro alone, and it doesn’t let go over its duration. Accompanied by grand and mysterious lyrics which read like a bad dream, the song creates a disconcerting atmosphere that something is coming. The ‘something’ seems to be represented by the bombardment of rapidfire drums and soaring guitar.
Impeccably clear percussion strikes the listener, while unnerving and disturbing vocals roar. There’s blossoming and soaring at the chorus, and yet the sense of disturbance remains. In my mind’s eye, the instrumentation combined with the lyrics vibes like a scene of standing windswept on a clifftop and farewelling the life that you knew into chaotic stormy draughts. The line “Nothing lasts forever” stands out to me and what I’m hearing is congruent with a sombre acceptance of that, as well as seeing the futility of fighting against it.
“You should know… Nothing lasts forever”
As well as being instrumentally wowing with sharpened guitar flares and a guttural desperation to make it through, the second verse feels increasingly defiant in contrast to the chorus before it. Again with the clarity in pummelling side-to-side moment, it’s like the listener lives inside a world created by every utterance or stroke and hit of an instrument. I presently don’t have the production credits, but they absolutely deserve kudos.
And just when you think “Snowblood” is a sick metalcore track, a guitar solo takes the wheel and zooms around the terrain. For a fleeting moment the stormy landscape the song had conjured in my mind takes on an element of beauty, and its monochrome skies seem romanticised. In my limited ERRA experience, the band seem to have a knack for creating songs that keep giving the listener MORE as they progress.
Like claws digging in for survival, greater determination is again revealed as the song continues, with tumultuous instrumentation married with urging chanting vocals. The track’s last minute sees a sink into an alternate reality, revealing blurred lines of what is real and what is not. The soaring guitar is eerie, and the gun-like blasts from the drums take on a cementing of this eeriness, reinforced by djent severity. Unease and horrific concern is the flavour here, and it absolutely leaves a blackened aftermath for this listener.
My impressions aside, Cash says “We wanted to paint a picture of a person’s deteriorating mental health by creating imagery akin to what you’d see in a horror movie.” He also indicates that the ‘dark intensity’ of the instrumentals of “Snowblood” were what inspired the lyrics as we hear them. Importantly, Cash describes the song as being indicative of where ERRA are headed in future music, by way of lyrics and instrumentation. We can’t wait to see what the future brings.
Take it in for yourself via YouTube below or via your preferred streaming service: https://unfd.lnk.to/snowblood
[Photo Credit: Aaron Marsh]