This EP has some high expectations to live up to. I am happy to report it lives up to mine. Production is very tight/clean and no doubt this is a recording with all the computer trickery in full employ but the balance and clarity they have achieved makes it well worth it. (*Kudos to Beau McKee) Having seen this band a number of times live I have expected them to make concessions for the lack of effects and technical wizardry behind the djent-sound however I am always impressed by the technical prowess and efficiency of the members pulling it off on stage …especially the drummer George whose work is a major feature at shows and Jack: the bands enigmatic front man. They have clearly gigged this material and refined it all down to the best possible versions before tracking and releasing it. In the end, the results speak for themselves.
‘Purge’ kicks things off with an ambient little intro that explodes into a powerful groove filled with clever little staccato bits and discordant droning over the top, something that you’ll hear quite a few times across the EP (ala Structures/Northlane et al.) Jack’s vocals enter at the 1 minute mark and the energy instantly kicks up a notch. He is a vocalist whose voice sounds equal parts unique and dynamic. There’s an immediate connection between the passionate feeling behind Jack’s delivery and the music’s aggression and never comes across feigned or half-arsed.
‘Dead Eye’ is a strong but slower track featuring Ryan Bowles, vocalist from Prepared Like A Bride. PLAB have been a supporters of the Void of Vision boys since their early days and have shared the stage plenty of times and clearly have been an influence. The ending of this song gets a little more melodic and really helps to make Jack’s emotional cry of ‘I will remember you’ all the more convincing.
Lifeblood – was the lead single released in advance of this EP’s arrival a few months back and is a high energy and fast paced jam that immediately makes an impact. The riffs have a particularly metallic vibe to them and it’s easily a highlight track. The drums are busy and brilliant here utilising blasts, huge fills and machine gun tight double kick.
Nightmare – is another fun jam, the djent-as-fuck section at the 2 minute mark just kills. Seriously. The later half of the song leans more towards the bands earlier work using a bit more guitar tapping and ambient lead tones when there’s a bit more space. Rhythmically though..this is on point.
Persist // Perceive closes out the EP with more of the established melodic post-hardcore stylings and up tempo drumming. They keep your foot tapping and head moving and then at the 1 minute mark it all shifts gear to break back down into another solid groove, ambient droning and a few bendy riffs. It’s quite easy to imagine this material setting up crowds for some big pit-action.
Fans of Northlane, Prepared Like A Bride (and all the rest) will immediately understand and anticipate all the tricks and tactics the band engages across these 5 songs so there’s no re-inventing the wheel here. It’s a great sounding recording and style wise it is a perfect entry point for any one not yet familiar with the band. I really hope this helps to establish the group beyond Victoria and out to the wider east-coast and beyond. Personally I look forward the day when they get bored of this style and start to experiment and try different things ..so in that respect I still think the best is yet to come from these lads, but for now.. they needed to get a firm release out, hop on some tours and build momentum. Job well done lads.
Pay what you want…but make it good!