Throughout the years, if there has been one band that has captured the spirit of what I love about independent music it would have to be Engineer. I’ve always admired how hard this band has worked and the sacrifices they have made as time passes. If every band had a mission statement, Engineer’s would read somewhere along the lines of, “We write awesome songs and play out as much as possible and really don’t try to follow trends or have time for your bullshit”. Unfortunately, they have become one of the most underrated bands playing this blend of technical hardcore, and it’s a damn shame because their newest album “Crooked Voices” is one of the best aggressive albums to be released in 2011.
I don’t know if it’s something in their bloodline (3 out of the 4 members are brothers), or if it’s just a mastery of their craft, but “Crooked Voices” comes off more than a bunch of guys that are just pissed off and upset. It’s almost as if somewhere between those interesting sludgy riffs, that beefed up low end, the calculated drumming, and the menacing yet sincere vocals you find a broken soul that is showcased in their sound. You can actually hear the years of disappointment coming through on each track of this record. This is a band that is just so fed up with their lives as artists, but trudge on anyway because it’s the only thing they care about, which makes for an exceptionally genuine listen.
This record also experiments with some moodier dynamics and even closes with a piano ballad that is more chilling than anything played on the entire record. The songs that play around more with these elements support the song structures when things get heavy again, and really showcase the growth of this bands songwriting abilities. I have followed this bands work for years, and if you love aggressive hardcore/metal with emotional substance, then you need “Crooked Voices” and the rest of this bands catalogue in your collection.