Whether you wish to call them hardcore, melodic hardcore, or metalcore, three of the descriptions they have been tagged with, the only thing you need to know is that UK Metalers Envy The Fallen are one mightily formidable outfit, a band who brings intensity, aggression and harsh melodies together and uses them like a belligerent and angry chef. The result an intimidating and explosive debut EP called Hoist The Colours, and a recipe for all metalers to feast upon.
We will be open from the start and say the EP does not offer anything groundbreaking or stunningly new but it does contain songs and music that thrills, exhilarates, and basically bludgeons one into submission to much greater satisfaction and pleasure than the majority of similar veined brutes over recent months. The EP is inventive and powerful, and even though the originality is confined within existing genre parameters it is impossible to really criticise what is a very impressive and more importantly enjoyable release.
Hoist The Colour begins its assault on March 19th with the quintet from Newquay ready to build on the acclaim already received through shared stages with the likes of Evergreen Terrace, Feed The Rhino, Brotherhood Of The Lake, and Lower Than Atlantis, and their appearance on a cover CD on an issue of Big Cheese Magazine. With a full UK tour about to kick off alongside the release it feels like now is the time of Envy The Fallen, something the EP alone should trigger if there is any justice.
Hoist The Colour opens with The Brave One, a track which enters on a slightly subdued and chained scorched melodic riff which draws closer to explode into a thunderous full on assault. Vocalist Anthony O’Reilly crawls all over the lyrics with a delivery that is venomous and spiteful whilst the heavy artillery riffs take pot shots at the ear with shotgun like effect. The drums of Jon Redd are staggering, an unrelenting but well structured bombardment which he repeats on every song within the release. The guitars of Quiche Smith and Ryan Drew plunder the senses with a mix of vindictive malice and inventive melodic craft, whilst the bass of James Killackey stalks the track with a brutish strength and if there is one complaint of the release it is that his play is often hidden, over powered by the sounds elsewhere.
The release is off to a great start but soon lifted higher by the title and best track on the EP. Hoist The Colour tramples through the ear and all over the body without a thought for mercy, though the punishment comes with a delicious groove which picks up the floored senses as often as they are knocked down by the immense power generated. The song is combative and refractory, the band as a whole coming together in stance and might that is impossible not to become part of as the track stomps all over the ear and beyond.
The great thing about Envy The Fallen is it is not entirely all about destructive intent, the band skilfully interweaving stirring melodic avenues into their smothering and violently wilful intensity. The likes of the brawling and equally rebellious I Will Prevail and the crippling This Is Not Goodbye, a song that takes one to their knees within seconds with its heavy bombardment of aural quarrelsome truculence, meshing both elements in to a keen and formidable event. As with most tracks though the band stay firmly on the side of combat rather than seduction through inviting cleaner persuasion though the closing song reveals the band can go that route Just as ably too. The Ending leaves one with provocative sounds and acute melodic play from the guitars to suggest more variety and ingenuity ahead from the band, the piano that graces the track in its latter part an emotive contrast to the distorted harshness beneath it. The song is an excellent counter and follow-on to the tremendous Until Lambs Become Lions before it and another unreserved violation on the senses.
Hoist The Colour is a potent debut from what already is an impressive band, yes there needs to be more innovation from the band maybe but that as these the songs suggest will come. UK hardcore /metalcore has never been fresher and now Envy The Fallen have added their dynamic breath too.