If there is one thing which In Presents Wake, the debut EP from Scottish metallers Lifelines suggests it is that this is a band you need to see live. The intensity and aggressive energy of the six track release is a formidable hint to what you imagine their stage attack is like, though you suspect it still only touches the edges of their intensive stage presentation. The release is a fiery slab of metalcore rife with strong melodic flames and a voracious blend of rhythmic antagonism and ferocious riffery. The EP does not present Lifelines as the finished article but certainly as a band on a rapid and intensive rise with a sound to match their hunger.
The Glasgow quintet was formed in 2011 by vocalist Paul Bone, guitarist Sean Young, and drummer Jonny Macintyre. After going through multiple guitarists the line-up was completed by guitarist Adam Cosgrove and bassist Murray Paton and by the end of last year had built a strong growing reputation for their live shows which has seen them alongside bands such as Bleed From Within and Palm Reader. With In Presents Wake, the band makes its widest and strongest declaration to date, one you can easily see leading to strong acclaim and a much larger fan base for the explosive unit.
Opener Skyscrapers is an immediate pressure of rigid rhythms and eager riffing ridden by the coarse vocal attack of Bone. A timid but open groove tempts within the intensive atmosphere, the guitars crafting inviting lures into the song’s muscular body. There is a sense of Architects to the track which gives extra texture to the evocative conflict if also showing a distinct presence is still evolving for the band. With an intrigue and invention which is happy to ignore expectations the starter is a riveting entrance into band and EP.
The following Limitless is equally as magnetic without completely waking up the passions, the guitars and bass casting a web of enticing imagination and craft whilst the rhythmic enterprise of Macintyre is a bruising treat driving the track and ultimately release forward. The vocal delivery is a caustic grazing on the senses, a strong and passionate one but with a lack of diversity to Bone’s delivery it does diminish the potency of the track a little, though the incendiary guitar play and group vocal harmonies brief though they are, keep attention and thoughts captivated.
The Protagonist is an uncompromising confrontation from the start, bulging rhythms and a predacious bass prowl increasing the already eager appetite for the release whilst the sinew clad guitar invention without breaking boundaries weaves a cage around the senses and emotions which is lasting and satisfying. The EP from its strong opening does get better and more impressive song by song with this a definite marker to note, though after the brief and accomplished torrent of passion Better Left Unsaid, it is surpassed as the EP unleashes its finest moments with firstly Undertow. It is a heavily intensive tempest of enjoyment and incitement, riffs and rhythms a rapacious courting of the senses whilst the melodic endeavour paints their canvas with creative hues which ignite the imagination. The employment of cleaner vocals alongside the harsh scowls adds the extra exciting finish to the track; the earlier slightly wanted variety here alive and proving how well it works to help make the song the best and most potent encounter.
The closing triumph Silver Screen Synthetic is equally as inventive and exploratory to leave the promise and strengths of the band a raging and wholly persuasive lasting impression. Adventurous without losing sight of its intent and eager to mix things up rhythmically, melodically, and vocally, it is a contagious addiction breeding slice of brutality to complete an impressive debut.
It is fair to say that In Presents Wake does not offer anything new and that Lifelines have yet to stand out from the other strong elements of the crowd but equally it is easy to suggest that it will come, especially on the evidence of the final two tracks of the release. Though even these songs cannot hook a lingering connection once departed, in their and the band’s company they make a convincing and attention grabbing persuasion to make Lifelines a band to keep an eager eye on and definitely to catch live.
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