This year, I have come across numerous albums that blend various elements together. Nonetheless, I consider Negativehate‘s latest album to be the standout among all releases this year. Let me explain why below.

The New York rock/metal band Negativehate presents an impressive 8-track album that captivates listeners, inviting you to immerse yourself in the music by simply closing your eyes and keeping your headphones on.

After reading their press information, I initially doubted their claim of a blend like “the vibe of Tom Waits meets The Sword, Incubus meets Stevie Ray Vaughn or Deftones meets Mashed Potato Johnson.” However, I was pleasantly surprised. The seamless fusion of rock and metal exceeded my expectations in both beauty and professionalism.

Starting with the opening track “Infinity Bias,” the band leads you through a musical voyage blending post-metal vibes with a jazzy atmosphere, before surprising you with a remarkable progressive transition. Likewise, as you delve into the second track “Echo Paradigm,” their exceptional musicianship and songwriting prowess shine through, captivating you with the same beauty.

Upon delving deeper into the album, you’ll notice a peculiar fusion of styles that goes beyond mere music; it’s like a convergence of science and spirituality. This notion became clearer to me when I sensed a strong emphasis on blending sound science, spirituality, and a varied jam band style.“The songs on Shapeshifter feel less esoteric than previous efforts. Even the non-adventurous listener might be enchanted by Shapeshifter’s more fluid and emotional songcraft.” – Chuck Scandura(producer and co-guitar/vocalist)

Melodies play a central role in this release, standing out noticeably. In addition, the lyrical themes are presented as stories or fables rather than explicitly stated. The profound link with the Earth and the universe remains prominently showcased in Negativehate‘s latest album, anchoring the intricately crafted but ever-evolving progressive music.

I truly admired their promotional strategy, a rarity among artists nowadays. They released two videos and two visualizers, with the latest being for the longest track on the album, “Hrethgir.” The video, seemingly simple yet featuring strikingly realistic fire effects, aligns with the band’s theme of uniting Earth with the divine through music. It captures the band’s music’s intensity perfectly.

In conclusion, Negativehate‘s newest album “Shapeshifter,” has the ability to appeal to a diverse audience, encompassing blues, jazz enthusiasts, rock fans, and even metalheads.