With vast swathes of blustering labyrinthine riffing and warm, throaty vocals this smacks of New Wave of American Heavy Metal, yet brings it back home with a rich, thrashed-up thread running through its core.
From the off, “Gospel Untold” offers up a rich amalgamation of groove, death, power and thrash. The scattergun riffing, winding leads, focussed roars and battering drums scramble to get at you as if from every angle. Following close behind, the title-track pulls back a little from the storming pace but is no less impacting. Think Sylosis’ on top-form and you’ll get an idea of the crush that these guys’ can produce when they hit top gear. Liam Turland’s complex and virulent drum insanity deserves a special mention as he produces panicky rolls that come at you in waves, a crisp snare, punchy double-kick and supremely tight drops and change-ups. A ‘core-loving perfectionist might suggest that the breakdowns need to smack down harder and more often, but we’re splitting hairs here..
Tracks like “Victim” and “What You’ve Done” have the instant gratification that marks out bands like Lamb of God and All Shall Perish but also mimic the longer game and offered by the tech-minded – think Black Crown Initiate or Trigger The Bloodshed. The lyrics are intense and filthy enough to fire up a crowd – “I will not rest while you’re still alive / Don’t say a fucking word” (“Victim”) even comes complete with dropout and Randy Blythe-esque “whooooop”. Or perhaps you prefer the last line from “Sentiment”… “For safe keeping I will cut out your heart / I am living all my dreams”. That’s sick, man.
Over 36 rancid minutes, this Northampton quintet produce gem after gem, alternating their attack with either a co-ordinated bass and drum power move, or by firing up their range of winding, interwoven melodics. The track “From Eden To Exile”, stripped of complexity and not nearly as playful, is about the only thing that feels a little laboured. The rest is solid gold and, having seen them live, I can assure they bring just as much force and fire to the stage too. If you dig music that puts up a damned good fight, you’ve come to the right place.
(8/10 John Skibeat)