Batoche Terra Incognito

A continuation of Vancouver-based outfit Born of Ashes, Batoche show that one doesn’t need major label backing or top-notch production to deliver a scorcher of a metalcore record. Punk rock, technical mayhem and spacey retrospection are only really the tip of the iceberg, as all this material is wrapped up in song structures tighter than the strait of Gibraltar. The serpentine, diverse writing is capped off by well thought-out lyrics that touch on politics, environmentalism and the swindling of the public by authority figures in general. As mentioned before, the production could use a bit of tweaking — the all-too-common typewriter kick drums are irritating — but for an independent release offered for free download on the group’s website, it would truly be jerk-ish to complain. They are one of North America’s metalcore elite, not just Canada’s. (Independent)