I must admit I’d never heard of this hard-rocking five-piece before, but a quick Google search informed me that they’re from British Columbia, Canada, and that Decade is the follow-up to their third studio album, 2012’s Divide the Blackened Sky. How did we ever manage without the Internet?

It’s also their first major release with an altered lineup that leaves lead vocalist Crispin Earl as the sole original member (two others, guitarist James Fiddler and bass player Marc Roots, walked away in 2011 and two more, guitarist Eric Schraeder and drummer Neil Beaton, followed them out the door in 2013).

If impressive opening number, “Defying Gravity,” is anything to go by, it’s clearly business as usual for Earl – who started The Veer Union as a solo project in 2001 – and recent additions to the fold, Dan Sittler (lead guitar), Ryan Ramsdell (rhythm guitar), Amal Wijayanayake (bass) and Tyler Reimer (drums).

The cleverly-written call and response wordplay of the second track, “Watch You Lose,” is pretty great too, though I preferred track three, the menacing “You Can’t Have It All.” The atmospheric “I Said” recalls Evanescence, but drags on a bit and I found myself moving on to the next track.

“We All Will” is a brilliantly powerful anthem – full of rage – that should become a crowd favourite. “I Don’t Care,” unsurprisingly, also has its fair share of anger. A few of the songs have quite negative titles that seem to address rejection: “The Unwanted,” “The Underrated,” etc. The latter is especially good.

All in all, I quite liked Decade – so-called because 2016 will mark the 10th anniversary of the band’s debut album, Time to Break the Spell – even though it failed to hold my interest at times. Still, others will absolutely love it!

Track Listing:

01. Defying Gravity
02. Watch You Lose
03. You Can’t Have It All
04. I Said
05. Make Believe
06. We All Will
07. I Don’t Care
08. The Unwanted
09. Heart Attack
10. The Underrated

Run Time: 37:03
Release Date: January 29, 2016

Check out the song “Defying Gravity” here.