In a year of what seems like a flood of emerging metalcore type bands, to truly standout from the masses a release needs to be exceptional and instantly inventive. Whether the debut self titled EP from Yorkshire band Fates Upon Us is such a release is debatable but the five track EP certainly marks the band as one full of obvious promise and refreshing imagination. The finding of their distinct voice is an assumption you can only see the band fulfilling ahead whilst their first release certainly elevates them enough within the ranks of similarly fuelled bands, to make them ones to watch closely.
Formed in August of last year, the Sheffield quintet took no time in finding a keenly receptive local audience to their live performances and sounds, a repeating occurrence as they slowly ventured out into the whole county and beyond. Good success in heats of the Corporation Battle Of The Bands competition has followed their strong beginning as well as a UK tour with Gold Skies Ahead. With comparisons to the likes of Asking Alexandria, A Day To Remember, and Bullet For My Valentine placed upon them, the band now unleash their debut release with a destined national awareness and fervour on their horizon.
Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game starts off the storm with resonating and intimidating riffs matched by towering rhythms and oppressive intensity. It is not a ferocious entrance but one which ensures instant focus in its direction. The vocals of Danny Costello send squalls of vehemence across the landscape of the song whilst the guitars of Carl Tyler and Danny Hattersley fire flames of accomplished sonics and blistering melodic shards upon the senses. As a scowling predator the track is excellent but does suffer a little with the inclusion of clean vocals and an accompanying dip in intensity. It is not enough to unsettle the track but hindsight, after the others songs have stated their claim and disrupted the air, does offer a little surprise as to why certainly the vocals do not work as strongly as elsewhere where the cleaner tones are easily as impressive as the growling consumptions.
Nevertheless it is a great start which is immediately elevated with the full steam stomp of Have Fun Storming The Castle, a track as unbridled in its passion and energy as it is in rifling the ear with sharp riffs and contagious ideas. The vocals are spot on in both extremes of delivery to put previous slight wrongs in context whilst the rhythms of Carl Jackson thump and barrack the ear with little restraint or mercy. As mentioned earlier whether the track is distinct enough like the release as a whole to garner the full praise it maybe deserves is arguable but as a feisty companion it leaves one wanting very little more.
The third track If Cats Had Opposable Thumbs brings another flaw, this time in its production levels which are too low so the track sounds like it is playing from a room away. It is a shame as the track itself is great but the drop does override the enjoyment somewhat. The track itself is a brawling confrontation merged with expressive melodic imagination and stirring energies. By this point though that similarity to other bands is strong, Fates Upon Us offer plenty to suggest their future sound will see them rise from the pack. The immersive mellow and enveloping weaves from keys and vocals sink seamlessly into the harsher heart of the song to show skilled craft and thoughtful endeavour to the songwriting, not something which can always be applied to other bands.
Back at full levels, Boys, We’ve Struck Gold is an instant winner, its expressive warm gentle initial tones erupting into a furnace of demanding yet rewarding aggressive and inventive ventures. The track barges one to the ground, leaving you a bruised victim to its intense anger but just as easily and passionately stretches out revitalising and reassuring melodic hands to steady and expand the heart to its imagination. Arguably for really the first time bassist Danny O’Keefe can step from the aural shadows to show his hunter skills as well as the continual depth he brings all songs. It is another exciting and captivating track offering great futures.
Closing with the relatively straight forward Hobo With A Shotgun, the EP is one which is impossible to lose in the pack whilst still within its stirring ranks.. Fates Upon Us though inspire expectations of great promise and a clear escape in the future to set them well apart from the throng.
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