Metric’s seventh full-length album has a curious title in Art of Doubt, as there is little doubt that this Canadian four-piece band is as confident as they’ve ever been. The first song released on this effort, “Dark Saturday,” gets the brooding tones and dark atmosphere going early on this fantastic record. Lead singer, Emily Haines, shows a ton of composure on this LP, as she swaggers through the first track and “picks her spots” on when to belt it out and when to whisper. Metric have found their late-career masterpiece in Art of Doubt, as it encompasses all of the sounds that the band has tinkered with since their formation in 1998, into an outstanding work of art.
The third track released and current single, “Now or Never Now,” finds Metric the most self-aware they have ever been, as each band member brings their unique plethora of influences into this track. From lead guitarist, James Shaw supplying the main riffs and backing guitars, to Joules Scott-Key drumming precise and unique beats, bassist Joshua Winstead keeping the groove going, and Haines providing her trademark vocal delivery, everything clicks on this album.
If there is any “doubt” surrounding this album, Metric quickly gets that out of the way in the lyrics of the title track when Haines sings, “You said, don’t let your heart give out/No, I won’t let my heart give out/You said, don’t let your breath run out/No, I won’t let my breath run out/Well it’s true, I push too hard I guess/To use whatever fuel is left/At it’s best it’s all the art of doubt.” Haines self-reflection is carefully composed here in this great song, and her awareness of what goes into doubting oneself is well thought out.
Other songs that stuck with me on my first few spins of the record were “Underline the Black,” which could very well be their next hit song, to the haunting, “Dressed to Suppress,” everything just works. On the latter track, in particular, the falsetto delivery in the early part of the song where Haines confesses, “Long before my fall from grace/For a piece of me, they appeared/From the throat, I’m tied to you/All of us, we’re cracked in two,” her heartache can be felt far and wide.
The latter stage of this album does not take a step back at all from the early brilliance of the first few tracks, and if you accuse this band of having any filler on this album, I would certainly question your judgment. Amazing songs such as, the up-tempo “Risk” that features some of Shaw’s best and intricate guitar work to date, to the haunting “Seven Rules,” nothing is left off limits as Metric continue to craft their most complete LP to date.
The closing duo of “Anticipate,” which sounds like a song in the same realm as CHVRCHES brilliance, to “No Lights on the Horizon,” close out the latest chapter of Metric’s star-studded career. I would go out on a limb to say that this the best album in their expansive discography if for no other reason than that they have entirely surpassed every expectation that went into this widely-promoted album. Art of Doubt is a record that you don’t want to let pass you by in the crowded Fall release schedule. Well done, Metric, you have wholly shattered any doubts of your staying power in the ever-growing Indie Rock scene.