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Leaders didn’t move the needle much with their sophomore album, Indomitable. What they did do, however, is ratchet up every other aspect of their game from their debut release, Now We Are Free. It’s heavier. The production is better. The artwork has that extra clean polish.

But that’s kind of the point here. The artwork is exactly what you’d see from the genre, but it’s incredibly well done. (Hats off to the great Dave Quiggle.) The music is the same way. It’s a metalcore breakdown fest, where the bridges could be cut and pasted from song to song and most fans wouldn’t notice a difference. They did, however, up their overall songwriting. They’ve started to incorporate different types of overlays in the otherwise typical, conventional breakdown.

It starts from the beginning, with “Hell,” as the band drops in an eerie, off-tune piano theme they slow down to doom levels. It happens again on “Dead Minds,” and in a number of places as the record continues. It’s a minor addition, but it’s a thoughtful one they stick with, keeping the listener engaged from song to song. It would have been easy to check out, otherwise.

All in all, Facedown has helped polish up Leaders, like adding that perfect garnish to great meal. While the record isn’t anything innovative, it’s a heavy offering, and I appreciate heavy. I appreciate their professional polish. It’s thick and stout, and they’ll never have to apologize for that.


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