An album which needs possibly more attention than most to fully discover and appreciate its qualities, Distances from UK melodic hardcore/metalcore band Embrace The Tide is one formidable and forceful release. With eleven songs ready to bitch slap the senses with a force created from brutality and inventive melodic elegance, the album is a demanding and testing release with deep rewards for perseverance.
Initial impressions and thoughts were of an album which was strong yet relatively generic. Through many confrontations with its destructive energy what emerged was a release which was rife with imagination and intelligent craft to set the band apart from the norm in metalcore. It is probably fair to say the band do not noticeably push boundaries but at the same time they instigate a promise and sure thought that there is something special brewing within them just waiting to take UK metal world by storm.
Formed in 2009, the quintet from Milton Keynes has built a strong and ever growing fan base and reputation for their sound and explosive live shows which have seen them rub shoulders with the likes of Sylosis, Exit Ten, Odessa, Heart of a Coward, It Prevails, Tesseract, and Bury Tomorrow. The self released album Distances is the next step in the band taking their honed and skilfully powerful sound across the country and beyond, and it is hard to imagine anything than acceleration of their stock from its unleashing.
Heartless is a smack between the eyes to start things off, its brewing menace littered with confrontational sounds before erupting into a rage of vocals and riff anger with a droning melodic whisper pervading all. It is brief and unremarkable yet wholly effective as the lead into The Deep End, a song which offers all you need to know about the band. Riffs and intensity storm within the ear with little respect for mercy but are soon tempered by outstanding melodic enterprise from the guitars of Freddie Goli and Elliot Prudence whilst atmospheric synth sounds swell and sweep within any air not yet consumed by the assault. The song is at times almost painful such the ferocity of the attack and immense power generated by the band, but the melodic class and flair keeps one within boundaries of safety. As the album also ultimately emerges to be, it is a song which takes time to fully immerse in but it is well worth the struggle.
Another Time, Another Place takes things to new heights and stakes its claim as best track. From its first breath the song splits atoms and synapses with sonic twisting and ravenous energy. The guitars corrupt the senses with artillery like precision whilst the rhythms of Ollie Bennett alongside bassist Andrew Hickman, have a vindictive belligerence to their imposing presence. As the beats whip the ear to numbness a contemptuous groove teases and taunts alongside the great melodic beckoning and vocal power. Chris Weaver again like the album took time to get on terms with. His clean vocals are instantly exceptional, with a delivery and range which stands out over most vocalists to have emerged in the past couple of years but his guttural shouts offer such a contrast it is wrong footing and initially off putting to be honest. Again though with plenty of interaction between band and ear it all slips into place and becomes a non issue, the extremes overall working well, though preference would still like his smoother style to reign.
I, The Dreamer offers further diversity with an atmosphere heating symphonic caressing from behind the disrupting energy. Again there is a fully impressive spectrum of vocals from Weaver, one is only more and more impressed song by song by him, and the band as whole it must be added. The emotive class and expanse of the song is open and spreads through to the likes of A Case Of Wait And See and the thrilling (Un)Forgiven just as impressively. Further highlights come with Reflections which features Richard Lardner from Odessa and the brilliant A Path to Follow. Both punch and churn up the guts with unstoppable intensity and malevolence but wrap their passionate and warm arms around the senses with such melodic craft and imagination it is an honour to be assaulted.
Distance is an impressive and striking release which just needs a little more work than expected before it shares its riches. Embrace The Tide stand at the foot of the ladder to mass recognition, this album the first mighty step onto the first rung.
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