The best word to describe Edge Walker is intense. The album is Ana Sapphira’s first full-length album, following two EPs, one self-titled and one release in 2012 called Damien. Their sound is firmly rooted in metal and hardcore, but there are slight underpinnings of grunge. (Tracks like “Ten Thousand Faces” showcase this.) The album is heavy throughout, but avoids the typical frenetic and complicated style that has saturated the metal scene lately.
Vocalist Jonathan Lamper has an awesome, unique vocal delivery that falls somewhere between guttural shouting and screaming. It still retains a structure, though, making the lyrics easy to understand. There’s an amazing message of finding hope and purpose in life in his lyrics, encouraging listeners to not be shackled by the status quo.
The rhythm guitar riffs are overlaid with simple atmospheric lead lines giving Edge Walker its hard, one-of-a-kind sound. Even the slower songs (“Wings,” “Rain Song” and “Crows”) maintain the intensity, really only slowing down by way of tempo. “Heavy Hands” and “All Slaves” have some of the best riffs from hardcore this year, stripped down and combined with the aggression you conventionally find in that current music scene, a fresh take in the desert.
Ana Sapphira have proven with Edge Walker that bands don’t have to be overly technical in today’s musical landscape to create great heavy music.