With a lot of buzz and hustle, Pittsburgh alt metal act Reign of Z are gearing up for the release of their debut Ep “Mirrors and Memoirs”. Having a sold out show ready for their release and a busy schedule, it’s pretty easy to say these guys are ready to hit the ground running.
I’ll be upfront, “Mirrors and Memoirs” is not for the faint of heart. With a dirty goth-tinged vibe and lyrical exorcism, Reign of Z really lay it out in the open for cathartic release. With Steve Sopchak and Justin Spaulding manning the board on production everything is crisp and larger than life, really giving the Ep a darker edge.
Starting off with the track “Innocence”, we get an early sign of what lies ahead. Desperate yet melodic vocals take the helm with driving guitars akin to Breaking Benjamin along with melodic, yet dissonant keyboard/synthesizer work (psst Red, I’m looking at you). A great track overall to kick off the Ep. “Hate” shifts gears a little bit. Featuring a very grungy and dark vibe with its demonic vocal exercise and murky riffs, this track is bound to be hit and miss with some people, but if you are able to see past the ugliness and despair you will find possibly the most infectious hook the album may have to offer with its industrial soaked march. “Reflections”, arguably the strongest cut on the album, hits hard in the feels with a sledge hammer of a riff with it’s electronic backing. Singer Zosia West really takes you for a ride with her subdued vocal performance and locking you in for the chorus, telling the tale of the tortured soul she sees in the mirror. The band really bring the house down with the EDM infused breakdown before bringing the track to a close. Last but not least we have lead single “Dysmorphia”, a powerhouse of a closer. Emotion rings high within its harmonious chorus and simple, yet effective riffage. The bridge once again rounds out the track with a nicely placed guitar solo and impassioned vocals, screaming about the inability to find comfort within the confines of one’s own skin.
Short, sweet, and right to point, “Mirrors and Memoirs” shows a young band putting in the foot work to make it in this crazy industry. With an emotional performance, accessible yet volatile songwriting, the band show they have ability to play in the big leagues. With more time under their belts and continued hustle they may just be the next band to break out of “The Burgh”.