Two years since their last full album Iron Lungs, Guildford metal four piece, Polar have dropped their new album Shadowed By Vultures. The album is as strikingly different to Iron Lungs as Iron Lungs was to debut This Polar Noise. Polar have shed their hardcore skin, and that’s sick. The fact that they’re not trying to be every other band in the scene by clinging to the same punk sound shows how comfortable they’ve got with their own sound.
Straight from the word go, you can hear the improvement in production compared to previous releases. Everything is a little bit more fine-tuned. A little less scrappy. The first couple of tracks, including the single ‘Glass Cutter’, form the metal end of the album. The deeper you go, the more Polar’s punk influences creep in. By the time you get to their most recent single ‘Mountain Throne’ you’re getting back into their usual sounds, this middle-late section of the album sounds more like ‘H.E.L.L’, ‘For King and Country’ – not the oldest of Polar’s sound, but definitely some of their greatest.
The hallmark of a good album is not being bored three quarters of the way in. The title track of this album is track eight of eleven, and it’s a belter; pure riffs from start to finish, it’s got the same fierce snap to it that ‘Tonight Matthew I am the Batman’ (off of This Polar Noise) has. Polar have also included ‘Create’ from their most recent EP Inspire Create Destroy. The stepping-stone EP did wonders for the band, and ‘Create’ is such an uplifting song, you couldn’t hate it if you tried.
Polar have pulled off a surprisingly unique album for a band that comes from a scene full of horrifically repetitive music. Admittedly for all of a second the last song on the album ‘Our Legacy’ sounded oddly like Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Sleep Walking’, but that’s got to be the only exception. In the past few years Polar have made their mark as seasoned members of the UK scene. Every time you think they’ve peaked, they raise the bar a little higher.