The City Divided – The Endless Moment EP

Released August 6th, The Endless Moment EP from UK pop metalers (yep the term made us shudder too) The City Divided is a rather impressive little creature which arguably sets greater promise for the band ahead than marks them as a major force right now. The reason for this is that though the four track release is startling at times and always intriguingly compulsive it also raises a few questions. Where it works which is in many places, it is an exciting and striking piece of work but there are moments where one is not sure where the band is going or their intent musically, and once or twice one asks if even the band are sure.

It should be noted at this point that we thoroughly enjoyed The Endless Moment despite what one hesitates to call ‘flaws’ raising uncertainty at times. The promo sheet for the release states the band with the EP ‘served up a resourceful slice of modern rock stirring the sounds of such bands as Busted, Dead By April, Iron Maiden, and Enter Shikari into the melting pot.’ A combination to inspire the listener or make them hide behind the sofa and it is this eclectic mix which leaves the biggest question mark over the band, their music encapsulating those and more in flavour to leave one unsure of what is in the thoughts of the band. For the main it does work and at times magnificently, it is just that the ‘confused’ blend at times makes one feel this could have been a classic with more control and a more puritanical hand on their ideas.

Since forming in 200, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Alex Choo, guitarist Ash Maxwell, bassist James Langbridge, and drummer Alfie Powell, have built a strong and firmly growing following though their live shows which has seen them share stages with bands like We Are The Ocean, My Passion, Never Means Maybe, Heights, Fell Silent and The Eyes Of A Traitor. Their single Blue recorded with Dan Lancaster (Proceed) drew good acclaim something which The Endless Moment again recorded with Lancaster is sure to accelerate. It is an EP which crosses sub genres to offer something for many brought with a musicianship and accomplishment which is undeniable.

The release opens with Can’t Stop Their Laughing, a track which instantly sets the band apart. Off of an emotive piano caress and the great voice of Choo the song flexes its muscles with rippling riffs, firm rhythms and a shadowing glow of keys. It does not take long to notice the quality of the guitar work with the bass of Langbridge adding a depth with his instinctive presence within the craft of Choo and Maxwell. With stirring metal elements and scorching guitar strikes coming in behind the dual and varied clean vocals the track ups its intensity and adds dirty growls to the mix. This unfortunately does not work and as following songs show it is a mistake which threatens to derail the fine work already created. Thankfully here it is a brief and the beauty of the song spreads its wings as it progresses to make for a heated and very pleasing beginning.

Next up Higher Ground electrifies the atmosphere with sharp melodic guitar play and a brewing energy. It does not take long before the flat growls come in and one is again deflated. The clean and smooth vocals with Choo backed by Maxwell and Powell are outstanding whilst the scowling shouts work a treat throughout the whole release but the hardcore delivery is a mistake, a move which hopefully they review. The song has a classic metal feel which reminds of bands like Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold at times and is a boisterous riot combined with further strong passionate melodic enterprise. Though one hates to use the word pop it is bordering that field too but with a steel and bruising intent to keep it valid.

Though not as impressive as the opener the song is more than decent and matched by Watching The World Burn. The song has a more electro breath and is a restful piece of songwriting brought with a craft and air which is easy to immerse within. Again it does not light raging fires but shows the diversity and skill of the band perfectly and works well with its more singular direction. Its intelligent invention leads into the best track Waiting At The Gates, a bruising melodic metalcore beast. Once more the extreme vocals fall at the first hurdle but the rest of the track is a mighty and explosive piece of metal, the technical prowess and merciless aggression veined with strong melodic touches immense. Taste hopes the band explore this more in their future as the band have a real feel for the combination of extremes proven with this song.

The Endless Moment is a definite marker for a band more than likely to light up UK metal ahead whilst giving strong satisfaction in the here and now, even if it also leaves one with many thoughts.

www.thecitydivided.com

RingMaster 02/08/2012

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