A mischievous bassline is waiting to say hello in the moments that immediately follow pressing the play button on “On the Way Down,” the first song in the tracklist of Javyon’s debut album Point of Departure. Available everywhere this September, Point of Departure doesn’t feature a very long intro before it gets right into the guts of its groove-focused melodic metal intensity. “On the Way Down” and its equally-metallic counterpart in “The Reckoning Day” get us going with a heavy dose of post-desert rock riffing, but once we’re in the hands of an acoustic harmony in “Remake Me,” the songwriting depth in Javyon’s artistry begins to reveal itself to anyone within earshot of the speakers. He’s got a lot of talent, and he isn’t holding any of it back from us in this disc.
“In the Haze” presses forth with more of the acoustic melodicism that makes “Remake Me” such a refreshing listen in the wake of mud and sludge that come barreling at us in “The Reckoning Day.” The vocal harmony in this track caught me off guard the first time I listened to Point of Departure, but not for lack of substance on Javyon’s part in the first two songs on the album. There’s so much pain, so much reflection in this piece, and whether we’re analyzing the lyrics or the music itself, it’s visible through the passion seeping through every corner of this composition. “Dust” is a multilayered rock track, but with the melodic wit of the preceding song, it too hits us with a ton of sonic bricks.
“Outside the Room” invites more rollicking grooves our way before turning us over to the feathery strings of “Innocence,” and more importantly, the verses they frame. Javyon’s voice is fragile and full of hesitation here, but it’s essential to making the narrative more tangible to the audience. He isn’t halfheartedly describing life and commentary on its best and worst moments in songs like this one and “Overcome Now;” there’s too much catharsis in his release, and specifically, too much brawn in the instrumentation for that to be the case. This is a songwriter who wants us to feel every inch of presence in Point of Departure, and through a process that was obviously personally-managed by the main man himself, he accomplishes everything he set out to and more.
Javyon’s Point of Departure swirls into anxiety-laden beats courtesy of the Tool-esque (think Opiate more than 10,000 Days) “With Me” only to conclude with an all-knuckles “Twisted Pilot,” which I would rank as the heaviest song on the album by a landslide. The LP ends abrasively, more so than it initially commences with, but no one ever said that great rock albums were supposed to fade into the darkness like a big budget dramedy you might go see on a lukewarm first date. If there’s one thing we can learn about Javyon from his debut album, it’s that he doesn’t have any time for the watered-down chest-beating of his contemporaries – he’s out to make real, blue-collar rock with an emotional core, and he is off to an amazing start in Point of Departure.