ThemThem are somewhat of a supergroup of sorts which draws from a wide variety of styles, namely occult, horror, traditional heavy metal and theatrical delivery. In short, you could say it is King Diamond and Mercyful Fate thrown in a blender with Ayreon, Edguy and a gratuitous dose of melodic power metal. With members who have been a part of/are currently in Symphony X, Suffocation, Coldsteel, Lanfear and Sylencer, it is a very formidable and ambitious sound. This three track Tour Special EP, simply titled “Fear Them” is a taster for the upcoming album which will be released later this year. It is also a taste of what this band can bring and given their recent tour with Euro titans, Helloween, it is time to see just what we have to fear.

The intense, fast paced opening of “Forever Burns” is something to behold. With the drum section of Suffocation driving it on, the chaotic yet precise, relentless and pneumatic drums blast away, allowing the traditional feel twin guitar assault to deliver the crisp and cutting riffery whilst the bass adds a low end melody. Vocally, you would be forgiven if you believed this to be a new King Diamond track, the shrieking highs and sneering growls with powerful clean sections paints a vivid picture, much like the iconic frontman does. With searing harmony lines, a twisting and turbulent bassline, an intense story unfolds and captivates you, drawing you in and making you vicariously feel the suffering it entails. With some sinister organs over a chilling mid-section, accompanied by a melodic bassline, it explodes into a full on classic metal solo, full of flair and fury. Tapping licks, rapid ascending and descending runs, intense delivery just emanates from the track and it sets up well for the final run. A real blistering opening effort.

“Dead Of Night” opens with a rumbling synth which leads to a slow build up. The guitars play a steady riff whilst the bass really comes into the picture with its thick, rumbling delivery, leading the track into the verse. Steady paced, highly atmospheric and full of suspense, the verse slips to a real melodic and hook laden chorus. The lead melody, backed up by the thick bass and heavy distortion with clean vocals works well and the way the track just flows is great. The story telling in the lyrical delivery is excellent, it really engages the listener. The stunning lead section round the three minute mark hits the spot. Technically sound, flowing and powerful, it hits home with some expressive, wailing bends and intricate harmony lines, paving the way for that memorable chorus once more. This time, as the extended chorus variant goes on, we get a real twisty and melodic bass solo, before another searing technical lead solo to round the track off, once again demonstrating the skill the musicians who have formed ‘Them’ truly have. A real epic track!

Closing this short disc is “Blood From Blood”. It’s intense and pounding, powerful intro really hits from the word go. Fast pace, snarled lyrics, a growing sense of urgency and a chaotic undercurrent dominates the track, especially in the verses. The chorus has a more piercing feel as the stabbed guitar lines really break through the solid rhythm assault of the track. With plenty of theatrics and mood changes, its a real gripping song, especially as the tone darkens round the three minute mark, delivering a real hammering rhythm with a frantic and precise, ominous sounding solo. Heavy and intense, the track really drives home just how intriguing this band is, and as the frantic wall of sound hits you for the dramatic ending, it leaves you wondering just what else is in store from ‘Them”

On the whole, this is how you do an Album teaser. These are three solid tracks which showcase the creativity and ability of Them. Theatrical, dramatic, powerful, melodic and heavy, this is a group you need to watch for. With such a wide range of influences from the individual members and the musical delivery itself, Them are a band you would be wise to keep an eye on!!

(8/10 Fraggle)