Driven – A Breakdown Of Character

A Breakdown Of Character, the debut of UK rock band Driven is a beast of a release, an animal with constantly rippling muscles and howling energy to the fore but sculpted with melodic definition from a skilled touch. The EP is immense, one of the most impressive and thrilling introductions to appear this year. It is a heady fusion of metal and rock, a hard and vibrant brew of sounds and intensity which leaves one breathless and enamoured with songs which are still ringing around the head long after their dust has settled.

Hailing from Harrow, Driven has been building a strong and dedicated following since forming in the early part of 2011. Ever hardworking their live performances have brought strong and growing acclaim with the band exciting audiences alongside bands such as Knuckledust, Painted Smiles (ex Sikth), Mortad, Daken, Skreamer, Sanguine, and Sedulus. Earlier this year they turned to concentrating on recording their first release, going into the studio alongside Phil Kinman to create five irresistible and formidable slabs of rock n roll which have more aggression than a footballer with a Twitter account.

The very first beat and guitar rub of opener The Fool has attention looking in only one direction. It is easily sparks up the juices and as it rattles on the spot before breaking into an eager stomp an immediate grin is in place just knowing something special is in the air. The song is a bruising joy of rampaging riffs, jabbing rhythms, and vocals which are outstanding either clean and firing with expression or as a grizzled growl snapping at the ear. The sound is an incendiary mix of bands such as Pantera, Metallica, and Hell Yeah with a predominant dose of Bloodsimple to its presence. It is a blend which wonderfully burns up the senses and further enflames the wounds with scorches of melodic fire and excellently imagined diversity. There are many sizzling flavours which drip from the sound, all spicing the overall pleasure with impact and invention.

The following track leaps for the throat from the first note but once taking hold intersperses its charge with smouldering enterprise in harmonies and melodies through a wash of irresistible restraint. Like the first track, The Silver Lining writhes through variations and invention to ignite the imagination and primal energies. The vocals of Adam Leader again just impress with their ease of variation and passion whilst the guitars of David Mena Ferrer and Rory Kay leave the senses drooling from either their onslaught of precisely targeted riffing or sonic mesmerism.

Showing further invention in thought and songwriting, Ghosts opens with a gentle and magnetic weave of guitar manipulations and vocals with the bass of Fazz Couri bringing the shadows. As the striking drums of Hov Yardim build up the intensity the song constantly threatens to explode but instead returns to the heated yet reserved croon. Of course with high octane fuel in their veins Driven cannot hold back their instinct for long and eventually the song erupts into a white hot furnace of blistering sonics and intimidating rhythms. It is a beautiful riot which offers a lava like blend of Bloodsimple and old UK band I-Def-I through its spearing veins.

Vacant Thrones brings a southern twang within its fuel, the band adding a Down like abrasion to their music. It is another magnificent track to confirm the release as impressive in its consistency in every aspect of its incendiary body as the sound itself. The song swaggers with confidence and provocation without needing to turn to destructive tendencies to make its mark, guitars and bass strolling with purposeful riffs and delicious melodic strikes whilst the drums persistently barrack the senses giving no rest for the fired up enthused reactions.

Uproar closes the release just as dynamically as it all began the song a surging storm of swerving energies and fluid invention, the song igniting a furnace of joy to leave ears singed and the heart bursting. Leader for the final time just shines throughout the song, immediately placing himself as one of the best emerging vocalists around to match a band which is simply outstanding.

Good things about the band were bandied around before A Breakdown Of Character came into view but they gave no real justice to the truth. Driven is a new and mighty force which will set metal and rock alight, the EP is only the impressive start.

www.facebook.com/drivenuk

RingMaster 10/10/2012

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Categories: EP, Music

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