I think the saying goes “good things come to those who wait”. And in the three-and-a-half years since I first came across this band, their first EP is available at last. And happily, the power and astonishing control that they display over their music in the live environment is carried over well when recorded.
Opener the embrace is probably more effective in this version – the contrast between the delicately picked guitar effects of the intro and verses and the muscular rock of the chorus, coupled with the brutal outro where the whole track just accelerates with Rory nearly bursting with rage as he roars the final lines, before stopping dead. nascent is instead built around opening with a brutal, chugging riff, before being stripped away to little more than guitars, vocal and washes of synthetic strings, and then the riffs and fury crash over it like waves.
surrounded feels like standing over a millpool in the moonlight after the assault of the first two tracks – it’s pace is stately, almost elegant, at least until the riffs are let rip later into the track to astonishing effect, and then a grinding, cyclic riff takes over to begin the lead out of the last minute of the track, simply begging the volume to be turned up to eleven. Closer the colony is slightly different in that it is perhaps the only track here to push the vocals to the front of the mix – one of the most notable features of this band’s output is their unusually enigmatic vocals/lyrics and the fact that most of the time, they are seemingly deliberately buried into the mix. It carries it off well, too – and is possibly the one time where their Tool influence becomes the most obvious. Muscially this track seems to have a lot in common with Undertow-era Tool – the dry, raw feel of the guitars and vocals are the bit that really make the connection obvious.
This is no bad thing, though. In fact, it’s probably the band’s ace-up-the-sleeve. While many bands cite the likes of Tool as an influence, few are actually willing – or capable – of carrying off the complex muscial structures without it sounding a mess. So it is really quite heartening to see that this band are continuing to progress into a sound that is very much unique in the local scene, and hopefully in time they may just be able to break through into a much wider audience – they certainly deserve it.