THE ARUSHA ACCORD RETURN WITH STUNNING EP, 'JURACAN'
It would be a monumental understatement to say that there's anticipation surrounding the release of The Arusha Accord's upcoming EP, Juracan, on 28 September; the Reading tech metal icons' first new record in seven years. Juracan represents more than just a comeback, it's a new era in the band's legacy. With vocalist Alex Green and guitarist Tom Hollings stepping away to pursue other projects, Juracan is The Arusha Accord's first release as a four-piece.
This sort of forced retooling would cause most bands to crumble, but The Arusha Accord never were like most bands. Instead, they've knuckled down and struggled through their hardships to create Juracan, a record which could very well be their best work to date.
Despite their difficulties, The Arusha Accord have retained their musical identity. The frenetic guitar riffs and drums that characterised their previous releases remain present and tracks Blackened Heart and Vultures are very much cut from the mould of The Arusha Accord that we all know and love. That being said, the EP also showcases a new melodic, more structured side to the band. The Road and Beneath The Dule Tree are possibly their most mellow tracks to date, whilst The Dark Pan promotes a cinematic and progressive approach, all culminating in an epic conclusion supported by a beautifully arranged string section.
Juracan is undoubtedly an Arusha record, but by an Arusha that has spent the last seven years evolving. However, one constant that remains irrespective of style or musical direction is the band's incredible musicianship, particularly that of bassist Luke Williams. He is already renowned as one of the best in the game with his aggressive slapping style and complex lines. His work on Juracan only serves to cement his reputation as a pioneer of his instrument.
THE ARUSHA ACCORD - VULTURES (OFFICIAL)
The production of Juracan is also bigger and beefier than any of the band's previous releases, with more synth, strings and multilayered vocal passages than ever before. There's no doubt that this has something to do with ex-Periphery bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood who was in charge of bringing the record to life. Nolly has clearly understood the band's direction, creating a dry, aggressive and guitar focused atmosphere during the heavier moments, balanced with a huge ambience to enhance the mellower side.
THE ARUSHA ACCORD - BLACKENED HEART (OFFICIAL)
For any band, coming back and outdoing their previous releases is a difficult feat to accomplish. Many will fall in attempting to recapture their past glories. With Juracan, The Arusha Accord are in no danger of falling into that trap and will be sure to grace the stages once again; the virtuosity of the glory days intact but with a sound capable of filling arenas, a hardened attitude in the face of adversity and the fresh start of a new lineup.
Juracan is truly a triumph to behold.
Word by Robert Percy
ROCKODILE RATING: 10/10