“Shall we drink to better days?” I Am The Avalanche’s Vinnie Caruana asks moments into the Brooklyn band’s latest record ‘Dive’. And, come to think of it, the way 2020 has gone, we might as well do just that.
Stalwarts of the post-hardcore scene, I Am The Avalanche return after a six-year absence with their fourth studio album, crafted amid the creeping backdrop of a pandemic. With recording wrapped up in early-March, just as the new existence was taking hold of the US, ‘Dive’ is an apt commentary on the absolute car crash of the past 18 months.
In true I Am The Avalanche style, this record is a defiant assault of post-hardcore with a strong message of community, togetherness and self-belief, all of which comes with Caruana’s signature guttural growls, huge blasts from drummer Brett “The Ratt” Romnes, and powerful, melodic riffs of Brandon Swanson.
Opener ‘Better Days’ blows the doors off ‘Dive’. Stylistically it picks up where 2014’s ‘Wolverines’ left off but takes the intensity factor up a notch. The riffs are much heavier, the vocals more feverish and the tone is much darker. Followed swiftly by the straight-up punk track ‘You’re No Good to Me Dead’, it’s a ferocious start to I Am The Avalanche’s comeback.
“Don’t you want to see the day where your enemies suffer?”, Caruana spews during the visceral ‘Earthquake Weather’, and like drinking towards better days it can be a sentiment that resonates in a pandemic-fatigued audience. This anger never falters, not even taking a chance to subside momentarily in the subtly tender ‘Love Song 69’.
‘Dive’ culminates in the show-stopping closer of ‘The Morning’, a tour de force of I Am The Avalanche’s nuancesl; an anthemic track in which Caruana cries “If I’m still alive come the morning, if I somehow make it through, you’ll be the reason I still breathe”. It’s a beautiful message of hope, a call to keep your friends close, all layered over sumptuous soaring riffs.
Yes, we’d like to drink to a better day, and maybe just once we’d like to see some of the worst people on earth be held to account. The return of I Am The Avalanche provides the most succinct soundtrack – a platform we need to lean in to these hopes and desires.