• The bizarre return of METAFO4R
• Standard Electro House layouts
• Appreciable breakdown section
For the last few decades, music has witnessed unprecedented amount of band break-ups in all sorts of genres, while some even conducting a reunion after years. Electronic scene addicts would most remember the goosebumps striking from the homecoming of Swedish House Mafia two summers ago. While our discussion does not rest on such mighty and notable famed individuals, it is still a worth-mentioning case. Remember METAFO4R? Yeah, they are back, and maybe with better consistency. Their new single “Grollow”, which might I add is the tertiary addition to their discography, is an annual sequel to the appreciated bop “Rave Machine” on Spinnin’ Records.
Last December, we issued a missing poster for the quartet formed between leading Dutch acts, Dubvision and Firebeatz. Their merging had audience applaud, since both pairs have such solid reputation as meticulous producers. But to much of their surprise and disheartenment, the release schedule from this newly formed brand turned out to be rarer than Daft Punk’s live appearances.., jokes and banters aside, they seem to have adhere to a yearly plan. Around the dusk of the warmer months since 2018, they unveiled one song. To further add to the fuels of the burning rumor of their apparent break-up, their synergy titled “Lambo” got published in STMPD without their alter-alias mentioned anywhere in title. Yes, it was a Bass House instrumental better suited for Garrix’s imprint, but the thought of otherwise could not be left alone entirely. Hence, there and then, their end seemed to be verified.
Fast forward through despairing thirty weeks, METAFO4R decided to take the opportune, but not most adeptly. Anyone who has listened to this assemblage’s productions can get instantly allured to the Electro/Groove/Big Room House sound hallmarks from the earlier days. “Rave Machine” turned out to be a success for the group, boasting robust arrangements whose ingredients were not exclusive to a tonally-enhanced kick pattern, but aggressive and monolithic synths that would easily appease a festival crowd. The follow-up takes much inspiration and tries to hit the sweet-spot again. Does it?
Answer to that pertaining question would be a negative, but with defensive opinions as well. Sure, the instrumental begins with an alarm like synth, hyping up towards the striking segment ahead. To my mixed reaction, the drop portion sweeps in with a pitch-rising and jagged saw synth riff, which is entertaining to limited ends. It is a simplistic formula meant to work, without generic standards given much thought about, nevertheless compensating experiment. And spoiler alert, it doesn’t differ as much as on its second replay, a characteristic I admired the most in its predecessor track. There is not much variation at play here, yet among all these caveats, the breakdown strikes somewhat of a chord with its vibe. Operating with an arpeggiating pluck melody, a synthwave atmospheric pad comes across to fill the dynamics. This does not last long, and it returns for another contrasting and climactic run.
“Grollow” dodges the bulls-eye by a huge margin, thanks to its textbook blueprints which otherwise had the potential of being a worthy (or even better) release for this band. Unless they decide to reveal more from their studio vaults, METAFO4R hasn’t convinced me of a fruitful return.