Consisting of torrents of passion and explosive sounds, Hope In Hell the debut EP from UK metallers The Shallow is an impressive and fiery introduction to a new and accomplished group of musicians. Creating a tempest of energy and sonic disruption through a brew of technical metal, hardcore, and unpredictability, the quintet from King’s Lynn, Norfolk has unleashed a furnace of emotive intensity with musical endeavour to match.
It is a release which is not quite flawless which only adds to the immense stature of the release but leaves one in no doubt that the band has all the weaponry and imagination to be a big force ahead. There is a touch of similarity across the four tracks which makes up the release, reoccurring melodies and structures whilst occasionally the release takes roads worn by other bands but such the compelling sound and strength of the EP there is no issue with these things, just signs the band is evolving all the time with anticipation of even greater things ahead. Since forming in early 2012, the band has honed their aggressive and inventive sound through their live performances and it shows on their debut. They have been earning acclaim for their shows and sound, drawing comparisons to the likes of Gwen Stacy and Architects. The EP is set to continue and further that enthused response to their music and set 2013 up as a big year for the band.
The release opens with Twin Peaks, the piece an immediate haunting and chilling of senses and emotions as it heralds in the release. Barely touching two minutes the track offers an epic breath and bedlam tainted vocals in heavy emotive skies, the voice of Christopher Wells a squall of part outrage and part emotive fire whilst the keys and sonic manipulations throughout unsettle and score amidst the thumping rhythms of drummer James Allen and grouchy lines of bassist Michael Knowles. It is an unnerving start further scarred by the abrasive guitar caresses of Stephen Barrett and Matthew Brand, the combination of all elements a challenging and startling beginning which the rest of the EP soon expands upon.
Father thunders in at the demise of the opening track with vocals, guitars, and drums scorching and pummelling the senses. It is a caustic rub on the ear with a grinding grooves and magnetic yet chaotic discordant flurries of melodic flames erupting within the dense intensity. It is also quite irresistible, the gait and breath of the agitated track a fury of inventive aggression and imaginative intrusion brought with skill and enterprise. The clean vocals midway add an extra pleasing wash to the storm to offer slight ‘calm’ to the maelstrom of sounds and ideas at work. A track which reveals more and gets better with every listen, something which applies to the whole release, the song is an outstanding assault and just one marker for the band now and in the future.
The release is completed by the even more impressive Death of a Thin Skinned Animal and the first single from the release, Diamond Wretch. The first of the two starts on a contagious groove before within seconds whipping it up into a chaotic hardcore brawl of sonic teasing and vicious vocals. As with all the songs you get the feel of a kind of improvisation going on such their continually shifting and unexpected journeys though it is all carefully and intently crafted. It is only ever compelling though weirdly it is also where the band in brief moments do remind of other artists despite the persistently evolving presence of songs, though with each track an unrelenting crusade upon the ear moments where they can be compared to others are a fleeting breeze in the unbridled winds of the tracks. The final song continues the devastation of the ear and thrilling of the passions. It is a merciless and wholly rewarding breach of the senses with a sonic stripping and intense barracking of the defences making a stirring finish to the EP.
Hope In Hell is an excellent release from a band which leaves one breathless and excited for their and our musical futures. Released as a name your price proposition this is one violation you do not want to miss.
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