Sparkling with strong enterprise as it accosts the ear, the Reborn EP from UK metallers Waking Theo is a thoroughly satisfying and impressive release primed to spark a national recognition to the powerful quartet. As melodically compelling as it is unrelentingly aggressive, the three track release marks the band with ease as one of skill and thought in their songwriting and sounds alongside a passion which expands their creative intensity.
The Yorkshire foursome formed in 2006 and took no time in exciting the underground metal scene locally before spreading beyond with their fusion of varied influences including thrash, metal, melodic death, and metalcore into their own instinctive ideas. Since that initial entrance the band has shared stages alongside bands such as Malefice, Mendeed, Trigger the Bloodshed, and Biomechanical and released two well received EPs, the second Ghost in the Machine in 2011 setting the band up as ones to watch for a great many. The beginning of the following year saw the departure of vocalist Mikey Slatcher, one of four essential cogs in the evolution of the band to that point. A band driven by determination as much as anything, Waking Theo recruited Craig Gordon to its ranks and began working on new material which was showcased at Bloodstock the same year, an event they were handpicked for. Now with the release of Reborn and its formidable sounds it is not fantasy to imagine the EP being the trigger to nationwide awareness.
The release is an instant lure as opener To the Lions grabs the ear with a firm sinewy grip and sonic enticement. Immediately the rhythms of drummer Chris Vinter snap with control and energy whilst bassist Chris Giles prowls the song waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting listener with thrilling intensity. The track into its stride is a perfectly abrasive endeavour veined by the masterful melodic flames of guitarists Ben Wright and Chris Town. It is constantly magnetic and provocative especially with the vocals of Gordon, his delivery a brawl with the senses which adds excellent muscular confrontation to the bewitching acidic charms of the music.
Second song Downcast evolves the ear with a fine melodic caress before the again sturdy riffs and rhythms state their declaration. Once satisfied it has your attention the track explodes into an unrelenting barrage of thrash drenched riffing and sonic teasing from which only pleasure is borne. Arguably the song fails to match the heights of its predecessor but with the ravenous energy and stalking of the riffs side by side with malice soaked beats, the track is a thrilling and uncompromising encounter for which you can only add further praise to the release. To slightly contradict the previous comment the song leading into its climax also offers a passage of sonic elegance and fiery seduction which is possibly the best individual moment across the release and quite mesmeric.
Ending on the title track, Reborn is without doubt a release all metal fans need to look at. The final song is a furnace of invention and passion which consumes and energises the listener whilst chewing them up and stomping on their spat out carcasses. It is a monster unleashed but with that melodic craft and imagination which persuades fully and helps set the band apart from and ahead of many others. With an album scheduled for later in the year, 2013 is looking to be a very big year for Waking Theo.
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