You cannot beat metal that is as honest as it is direct and as engaging as it is eagerly consuming. The new EP Evolution from UK metalers Sworn Amongst is the perfect example. It does not come with pretence or tries to be anything it is not but just delivers impressive and deeply satisfying metal sounds that leave the senses alive and the listener invigorated.
Forming in 2003 Sworn Amongst has been on a steady upward climb bringing in an ever increasing and fervent fan base as well as building a strong reputation live and through their recordings. A couple of EP’s the following year and the band’s independently released debut Derision of Conformity in 2005 grabbed strong attention to their immense metal/thrash/hardcore sounds. The band also drew the attention of Rising Records who they signed with in 2007 and released the acclaimed album And So It Begins. With the album extremely well received by media and fans alike the Hull quartet of Liam Liddell (guitar/vocals), Jonny Barker (lead guitar), Rob Ellwood (bass), and Jonny Harper (drums), dived into several European and UK tours and festival appearances, all enhancing an ever increasing reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting and powerful bands. 2010 marked the release of their second album through Rising, Severance and further striking shows and tours in its promotion. This year Sworn Amongst impressed at Download and with the excellent Evolution EP imminent the band is poised to thrust UK metal to greater heights in 2012.
The EP unveils new tracks and older ones of which one is a re-recorded song from Severance. The new material firmly declares that the band is one of the strongest and forceful thrash toned bands in the UK, their aggressive and powerful sound veined with rampaging riffs and razor sharp guitar work. From the opening attention demanding intensity of ‘The False Prophecy’ the EP bristles with attitude, energy and most of all simply great unrelenting metal. The vocals growl with menace and belligerence with some great group shouts interspersed throughout, whilst the rhythms from bass and drums are hypnotic. The assault is heavy and pacey but controlled, the band choosing concise intrusions rather than a totally chaotic speed metal onslaught.
‘Nowhere To Run’ and the best track on the release ‘The Rules of Engagement’ continue in the same vein though both also bring strongly varied flavours different to the opener. The first throws predatory riffs at the ear with uncompromising rhythms whilst the guitars create melodies and a solo that sizzle as they search out the senses, the song addictive and completely hypnotic. The second of the two hits with an even more defiant and intense attitude, the drums are punchy and the hungry riffs with no intention of relenting in their galloping chugging attack, excite from first note to last. The track features Annihilator’s Jeff Waters and whether his presence fired up a little extra in the band or not the song is glorious and pure reason to the belief the band will really take metal by storm soon.
The re-recorded version of ‘Darkness’ and the title track from Severance complete the EP, both songs further proof the band has been one of the most impressive bands in Europe let alone Britain for a while. Excellent songs that round off a great package but it is the new songs that really shine the brightest as they offer up even stronger inspiring sounds and ideas to instil great anticipation ahead. You can hear the ambition and skill from the EP not only in the music but also the songwriting and though one still gets the impression Sworn Amongst has yet to find or define their truly unique sound they are one of the most refreshing and exciting thrash metal bands around, anywhere.