Black Polaris: Envisage EP

Hold onto all loosely attached articles or hairpieces ladies and gentlemen because if you thought the album Empires from Black Polaris of last year was a staggering storm upon your senses the return of the band with their Envisage EP is going to leave you deliriously wasted. The UK melodic death metal quintet have without doubt moved on from being something already special to set themselves at the dawn of becoming a major force in certainly extreme if not metal as a whole within these shores. Their new release shows a band just as devastating and aggressive as ever if not more so but with a certain evolution in the imagination and craft of their already impressive melodic invention.

Since 2009 the band has only accumulated more and more acclaim and an eager ever growing following though their releases  like debut album This City Falls and Empires plus explosive live performances which has seen them setting nothing but impressive statements alongside the likes of Martyr Defiled, This Is Colour, Eradication, Devil Sold His Soul, and Seven Year Kismet. A band with a work ethic as strong as their sounds they have been through the likes of line-up changes and financial difficulties which are never far away from independent and unsigned bands, using these setbacks to fire up their energies and defiance. The new EP has been no different with the departure of their drummer just before its release and a string of shows. Thankfully the band find the resolve to continue each time and as Envisage easily proves just get better and better.

From the early weaves of the opening title track there is undeniable evidence that Black Polaris has found even more depth to their sound and creativity. The track instantly grabs synapses and senses pulling them taught with spiralling corruptive riffs alongside air twisting sonic manipulation. The guitars of Paul Futter and Gaz Groombridge litter and splatter the ear with enterprise and aural spite for a mesh of Meshuggah and In Flames whilst creating a sound unique to Black Polaris, the band without doubt now having found their distinct identity. The rhythms of bassist Luke Jackson prowl with a further air of menace to that generated by the intensity whilst the drums batter with skill and controlled violence. Vocalist Sam Burgess simply boils the atmosphere with his caustic and bullying tones, his delivery not the most varied if one is honest but easily one of the most welcome and riveting of the emerging British metal front men in recent years and a perfect aggressor to enforce the powerful songwriting.

The mesmeric melodic breath of the following Power, Corruption is a startling intro to the track and immediately brings a deeper focus to what is going on especially with this continuing harmonic beauty underlining the blistering assault raging within the ear from then on in. The track is a fiery weave of twisting imagination and scorched exploratory sounds. Even after numerous plays one never gets a full handle on where the song is going so each venture across its oppressive expanse is fully rewarding and surprising.

Oblivion and Mountains originally had a place on Empires but both make an easy and impressive entry in their new guises on Envisage. The first is a rampant beast of a track, its flank rippling with heavyweight sinews of expressive energy and treacherous riffs. Like an aural sand storm with heated atmospheres of melodic venom the song is immense but then one has to say that about each and every song on the EP. The second of the pair is a less direct aggressor though no less oppressive whilst its incendiary breath ignites the air with a malevolent dynamism and spite.

Valleys has the honour of closing the stunning release and does so with no drop in intensity and quality. As ever the band is merciless seizing the senses to sand blast them with stone borne riffs and a scything melodic courting which scars as deeply as it hypnotises. Ferocious and unwilling to compromise the song is brilliance in its cruellest form and ends what is a stunning magnificent onslaught.

Envisage EP is one of the best releases to appear so far this year but more so is the mightiest declaration that in Black Polaris extreme metal has an emerging force to take the genre to future untold heights. This is a band and release which should not be neglected by any metal fan so to buy or stream for free check it out at http://blackpolaris.bandcamp.com/right now.

RingMaster 24/07/2012

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