Escher: Self Titled EP

The self titled EP from North Carolina metalers Escher is an excellent little beast of a release that introduces a band full of impressive promise and blossoming creativity. The four track EP brings a progressive metal/metalcore blend which is strong on ideas and structure whilst forceful in directness and intensity. Though still with room for improvement the quintet show they are a band to take notice of already and one that should make future deep searing grooves in metal.

From Durham the band was previously known as Evisceration but changed to Escher on the back of a new band line-up and the sound emerging from it. An EP teaser in the middle of 2011 gave a flavour of what was to come without giving a full taste, something the EP rectifies. The band offers a sound that is inspired from the likes of Sikh, Between The Buried, and Periphery, its content emerging as music that challenges and tests the senses with aggression whilst mesmerising with intricate and razor sharp melodic invention. The majority of the EP finds a band already at a high level, the remaining time it shows one with a still evolving sound that suggests it is only a matter of time before it reaches its full potential.

Opening track The Inverse throws crystalline bursts of tricky guitars at the ear whilst vocalist James Broadhead lurches from growl to grunt accompanied by hefty riffs and intense sounds that take no time in punishing the senses. The track seems to shy away from all out violation though to suggest more is to come from the track but though it never materialises it is a strong song that provokes nothing but eagerness to taste the rest of the release. The group shouts work well and the bass of Cody Rogers is a hungry behind the cutting guitars of Will Collins and Luke Dingfelder.

Jungle Space steps up flexing its toned riffs next. The track also brings the progressive metal side of the band which the opener kept veiled. Scorched melodies and incisive guitar strokes leave a distinctly satisfying mark whilst vocalist Broadhead shows more range in his delivery bringing a slightly smoother style at times though it did come over as a little random which intrigued more than disturbed. Mid way the track evolves into a resourceful melodic sound, Eschers progressive skills an equal match to the intensity they can bring. The songs instrumental second half caresses the ear nicely and though one was waiting for and wanting the earlier aggression to return in tandem with the well crafted sounds, the song leaves again feelings of wanting more.

The best track comes next in the shape of Nerve Damage.  Immediately drummer Dan Ray brings a complicated structure which Rogers makes full use of, their combined rhythms leading the ear down challenging corridors where the guitars pick off the senses at will. The track has a predatory feel, its intensity prowling and waiting to pounce. This is the most venomous track and the most creative. Within its harsh tones the band twist and turn directions and sounds, all changes and invention brought in with a generally seamless flow. As with all their songs it neither chooses to go for a full onslaught or rely on mesmeric charms but walks a fine line between the two successfully. Whether that will change only time will tell but right now it certainly works for the band.

The EP is completed by Running Underwater, its body as forceful and dense as the title suggests. The vocals are at their best here especially with the caustic tones and effect loaded moments. The track is primal and malignant, the venom of the lyrics dripping from every growled word and the guitars as potent and acidic as the poisonous intensity. Another great track confirming Escher as a band to follow intently.

Recorded and engineered by Ray the production on the EP though not perfect is strong enough to show all the qualities from song writing to instrumentation to show through even if there seems a preference towards the guitars. Escher have announced themselves with a thoroughly impressive release and made the anticipation of further sounds from them a very eager activity.

Grab your free copy of The Escher EP @ http://escher.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 16/02/2012

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