The latest EP from Portuguese metalers Thirdsphere was one that we meant to take a look at a few weeks ago but it slipped by attention until now but better late than never especially with a release that shows a band with much promise and already strong ability. Fire is not without flaws and room for further improvement for a continuing firm progress but it does set the band as one to watch closely suggesting a potential to be a big addition to metal in the future.
Formed in February 2007 as a trio growing to a quintet the following year, the band has drawn attention and respect in the underground metal scene across Portugal and Spain from their live shows and first demo This Is A Thirdsphere CD in 2009. Fire is the follow up consisting of five strong and well crafted songs, showing the line-up of vocalist Nuno Cardoso, guitarists Joao Goncalves and Luke Felgueira, plus bassist Francisco Beato, and Francisco Carrico on drums, as a unit that knows how to write music that takes and deserves attention.
The EP opens with the piano led brief intro/track of Awakening The Soul, a piece that sets a peaceful place to start with the sound of happy playing children bringing a safe calm. This leads straight into Awakening The Dormant with its commanding drums and beckoning guitars. Within seconds the track erupts into a rampaging and potent mix of expressive melodic guitars, grumbling pulsating basslines and rhythms that lead one deeper into its depths and on to the excellent growls and caustic vocals of Cardoso. The mix is direct whilst meshing all elements of the band with a sure care and skill. As the song progresses the guitar play is razor sharp and clean, openly well crafted without going overboard and bringing a great balance to the harsh venomous vocals. At this point though the one and only real flaw with the EP and music becomes apparent, the clean vocals of Cardoso. The production contributes a little to this but unfortunately his smooth style is not a patch on his aggressive coarse delivery. Though not overtly bad the clean delivery just does not lie well within or feel an acceptable part of the songs, the singer not always in control or finding the notes he tries for.
The formidable From Ashes We Rise takes over next, the band continuing their very satisfying blends of metal/metalcore with veins of classic metal guitar creativity to be followed with equal quality by the stirring Soul Confined, both songs eagerly feeding the senses with intense riffs, attentive combative rhythms and an energy that sweeps one up instantly. This is definitely a great band in the making and a release that is not far away from being very impressive but it is held back by the vocal dilemma. Actually there are only two options that make sense and would take the band up many levels from an already strong position. Either fuel their music solely on the excellent harsh delivery of Cardoso or bring in a sixth member to take on the clean duties.
Take Fire as simply a step in the evolution of Thirdsphere and take into account all its many impressive elements and one can see a band that is going places with some fine tuning and reassessment in one area. It has to be said the EP despite the criticism is still very enjoyable with its song Awakening The Dormant finding many repeat plays. Keep an eye and ear on Thirdsphere they could one day be the next big metal thing from their homeland.