If gigantic riffs, pounding drums, and intense vocal delivery are what you’re into, then Stray From The Path latest release is the album for you. Long Island’s Stray From The Path continues their hard-hitting affront and refusal to mince words with Internal Atomics. Internal Atomics hits hard, but it also balances the feelings of despair with a streak of positivity, and seeks to inspire change, and explores new musical avenues within the robust framework of their brand of groove-infused hardcore.
Internal Atomics begins with the explosive heavy-hitting track “Ring Leader.” This track starts this album off with a bang with the sort of pit-starting fury on which the Long Island quartet has built their fearsome reputation. Similarly, the tracks “Kickback” and “Fortune Teller” unleash the kind of hip-hop mixed hardcore assault that Stray From The Path is known for. Featuring guest vocals from Counterparts’ Brendan Murphy, “Kickback,” which shifts the guitar work into a more massive tone with staccato riffage forming the perfect backdrop to the vocal rampage. Murphy lends some of the most throat-shredding unclean vocals we’ve heard from him with a verse that moves the barrage of body hits to a square punch in the face.
The track “Second Death,” is a ferocious condemnation of the Catholic priest scandal. The track that follows takes a look at “Beneath The Surface” and shows that few of us have stories that are merely black and white, and many of us are bleeding underneath our smiles.
One track, in particular, that is a standout for me is “Holding Cells For The Living Hell.” This track finds Dijorio at his most vulnerable, opening up about a family member’s struggles with mental health. A suitably frenzied bout of sonic schizophrenia, its reflection on mental health, and how all too often the doctors simply “up the dosage” is a bullet to the heart of those that have experienced this personally.
Next, Kublai Khan’s Matt Honeycutt guests on “Double Down,” a slamming attack that spirals down into the album’s grand finale—and doesn’t expect the quartet to go out in any style other than vicious, unrepentant Hardcore. With “Actions Not Words,” a track very literally inspired by their time spent in Nairobi with the nonprofit of the same name, they challenge their listeners to change the world. Like this, it is a resonating, thrumming wall of sound that backs up the band as they deliver the message to be the change that you wish to see in this world.
Stray From The Path has presented an album that’s punishing yet memorable with Internal Atomics. Both socially and politically conscious, the collection and the band refuse to fall in line with mindless complacency and instead seek to ignite a fire for change. Stray From The Path is currently out on tour across the U.S supporting Counterparts so be sure to check out a show if it is coming through your city and pick up Internal Atomics out now.