By Echoes Fall
The debut EP from Suffolk-based melodic deathcore crew Echoes Fall, lumbers to life with the atmosphere-soaked death knell of the imaginatively titled intro, um, 'Intro.' A booming guitar line that judders under its own weight, and a distant, tormented scream will get fans of the genre salivating. You couldn't ask for a gloomier opening number.
And then, Echoes Fall pitch us straight into title track 'Ignite The Fury.' The first thing you'll notice, is the machine-like speed of blastbeat drummer extraordinaire Gavin Chinery. Still, now Echoes Fall have put the pedal to the metal, there's a vague whiff of metalcore to proceedings. For a band who list extreme metallers Lamb of God in their 'sounds like' section, this is most definitely a bad thing. Even when frontman Jamie Bennett is unleashing his best Randy Blythe impression against an earth-shaking rumble of blastbeat drumming and a terrain of blackened guitars, it's still a shade removed from true, terrifying deathcore.
Second track 'The Wraith' does a much better job of making the listener's blood run cold. Booming bass gives this song a cavernous sense of depth and darkness, while a final lick of fluttering guitars puts a sharp edge on 'The Wraith's brooding nastiness. For the most part, the snappy metalcore is a beneficial undercurrent that prevents 'The Wraith' from getting bogged down by its own weight - although there are a few shout-along sections which are an odd fit for the rest of the song.
Starting off with a whisper of downtuned chords, EP-closer 'Confessions of a Self Righteous Mind' will have you wondering whether Echoes Fall have gone all soft on us - until a full-throated howl comes crashing through your speakers and chases away any notion of Echoes Fall showing their sensitive side. The howl ushers in the familiar Unholy Trinity of rumbling blastbeats, chugging rhythms and broken-glass guitar lines. It flirts here and there with metalcore; on the one hand providing the listener with safe passage into Echoes Fall's dark heart, whilst on the other running the risk of alienating those who purchased this EP in the belief that they were getting a Lamb of God sound-alike.
The song's finest moment, comes in the closing minutes, as 'Confessions...' breaks into a gallop and finally makes a lunge for the listener's jugular, unleashing a closing roar of apocalyptic thunder in the process.
For a debut EP, 'Ignite The Fury' is nothing if not professional: faultless production; with a particularly talented drummer and a vocalist who gets the tricky deathcore vocal spot-on: crucially, he doesn't go for the 'pantomime-evil' effect. However, the random accessible moments are a sticking point. As an EP to coax metalcore kids into listening to something scarier, this is a roaring success, but you can't help feeling Echoes Fall don't sound half as scary as they think they do.