Metric - Art of Doubt - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Metric - Art of Doubt

by Brian Thompson Rating:7 Release Date:2018-09-21
Metric - Art of Doubt
Metric - Art of Doubt

After nearly two decades together, Canadian alt-rock vets Metric still have a few tricks up their sleeve. With the release of their seventh studio album, Art of Doubt, they are at once a time capsule preserving one of indie rock’s most industrious eras and a shining beacon toward what the genre is still capable of moving forward. While it may not be Metric’s most inspired effort to date, the new record is filled with gripping moments that are sure to spark excitement in longtime fans and casual listeners alike. 

Art of Doubt carries with it many of the trappings of what we’ve come to expect from a Metric album – with their signature blend of cranked up guitars and cosmic synthesizers bursting forth on tunes like “Dark Saturday” – but it also boasts a tremendous degree of sonic diversity. Bubbly pop tracks that pack a whomping punch (“Love You Back,” “Anticipate”) are counterbalanced with dreamlike, haunted reveries (“Art of Doubt,” “Underline the Black”). And the record is not without its upbeat, festival-ready bangers, like the grandiose lead single “Now or Never Now,” a surprising (and welcome) turn for the historically melancholy group.

With unhurried, atmospheric tracks like “Risk” and “Seven Rules,” it is abundantly clear that the main focus of the band has been and always will be placed firmly on the aesthetic ambiance of it all. In that regard, much of the record feels deliberately cinematic, often reminiscent of the electronica film scores of the 1980s (“Die Happy,” “Dressed to Suppress”). But that isn’t to suggest that the lyricism here is in any way lacking. Many of these songs find singer Emily Haines sifting through a wave of personal anxieties, as is the case with the existential “Holding Out”: “Holding out for the right time / What if the right time never arrives? / Always waiting on the sidelines / When is it my time / To be the one, the one, the one?”

Although the record, unfortunately, piddles out with its weakest track for a finale (“No Lights on the Horizon”), Art of Doubt is a formidable entry into an already impressive catalog. From its tender reflections to its hard-hitting arena-fillers, the album is a glowing showcase of everything Metric does so well. It’s rare that after seven albums together a band is still putting out such reliable work, but Metric has never been an ordinary band.

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