The Life EP is a delicious emotive storm of post hardcore from a band which has already garnered strong acclaim and support since forming in 2009. From the North East of Scotland, ElevenEleven has taken a major step forward from already impressive earlier releases with their new EP to give the genre in the UK a new tempest of creativity. It is an expansive mass of passion which without inventing new tools uses existing genre weaponry to fresh and adventurous heights.
Since their first days the quintet has shared stages with the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Flood of Red, Heights, The Elijah and Don Broco, made their own successful national tours, and released to acclaimed reactions the Memoirs (Part One) EP in 2010 and a two track release The Light/Dark Sessions in 2011. Last year though was one which brought a few obstacles the way of the Aberdeen band in the shape of serious illness, a line-up change and the subsequent collapse of their intended second EP. The band has on the evidence of Life though emerged a greater and even more imaginative force and by marking their return with the EP as a free download, has opened one expects the doors to greater recognition.
Life is seemingly inspired by the previous months for the band, its themes of love, loss and life trials maybe not directly reflective but it feels as if it is charged and emotionally sculpted by events. It is an atmospheric wrap with is intrusive and weighty whilst offering a captivating shadowed beauty. As the release agreeably scores the senses the obvious comparison is Deftones but to that you can add essences of Funeral For A Friend, Thrice and Devil Sold His Soul, with dark whispers of muse and Incubus for extra spice. It is a dense engagement lit by melodic invention and sonic skill, and an encounter which as soon as Lost unleashes its passionate heart finds a fulfilling connection to the listener. The opener stages a dramatic initial contact with bruising rhythms from the drums of Ross Senkbeil and the intimidating bassline of Stuart Ritchie within caustic flames of guitar from Eliot Leonard and Euan Wilson. It is a striking start which with the entrance of the fine vocals of Chris Spencer entwines and exchanges its intense gait with another of smouldering mellow ambience, the ‘respite’ itself also carrying a charge of passion which ignites thoughts.
The following Iscariot offers a similar stance though is still distinct in presence, soaking one in further intensity and thick melancholy to challenge and reward equally. As with the first, it is a song with a haunting shout to its voice and a coarse defiance which erupts in scowls of vocal rage at times alongside the increasing impressiveness of Spencer. At this point as one wonders if the whole release would offer a similar breath to is passion, the band shifts into a harsher aggressive tact with The Other Side. The song is an energetic badgering of the ear with an irresistible groove and questioning air. It is an excellent provocation which shows another side to the band whilst stretching their invention and skills in a new direction. Probably the most accessible of all the tracks it leaves one glowing in satisfaction to the same depths of the previous songs but with an openly different aspect.
The release is completed by the expressive rich sonics of Chemical Dreams and the slowly emerging passion of The Ocean. Both songs again venture down new soundscapes and songwriting craft whilst making seamless connections to the other tracks. The latter is a rising torrent of emotion which like the subject of the title ebbs and flows, rises and sweeps over the senses in powerful waves. It is an exceptional end to an excellent release which at times makes you work with it to discover all its wonders but ensures only a wealth of pleasure in return.
ElevenEleven provide something fresh and inventive to a genre which has seen many new bands step forward this year, but this quintet is the one you feel will go the furthest.
Grab the Life EP for free @ http://officialeleveneleven.bandcamp.com/album/life-ep
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