Formed in 2008, Russian band Steik has honed their sound into one which is engagingly melodic but framed and cored by sinews which ensure a full and richly satisfying encounter. Initially called Ierikhon, the band created old school heavy metal sounds with strong additional female vocals which left an eager appetite in place. It was in 2012 and the joining of vocalist Michael Koldirev to the band that Steik then turned to an even heavier and aggressive stance for their songs, a move on the evidence of their debut EP War With You (Война с самим Собой), that gives the band an even stronger platform to make the a wide impression.
Recently signed with GlobMetal Promotions and working on their debut album for a release later this year, Steik make their introduction with a trio of songs that in varied guises shows the strength and rich promise of a band with all the elements to claim that larger recognition. It also fires up sure intrigue for their forthcoming full-length release which you can only suspect will make another strong step in the evolving presence of the band.
The Wings (Крылья) is a gentle stroking of the ear and emotions, melodic carvings from the guitar and vocal harmonies between Koldirev and the backing voices, female and male, an emotive invitation that without lighting any fires inside holds attention from start to finish and grips tighter as energy and passion raise their heads across the song. There is a sense of shadow from the bass and subsequent elevated tones which ensures further intrigue has a part in the skilfully crafted encounter for pleasing results and overall it is a track which provides a worthwhile use of time more than anything else.
The other two songs on the EP though are another matter, both muscular and hungry tracks which show the real might of the band. Choosing on My Own (Выбираю Cам) opens on a deliciously throaty mix of bass resonance and heavy guitar, which instantly shifts into artillery bred riffs and rapping beats. It is a demanding and commanding start soon built upon by excellent keys and the grooved enterprise of the guitars. With again vocals impressing and the song merging classic rock and metal into an infectious and captivating persuasion, the track finds a firm connection and impact on thoughts and emotions, especially when it seduces some symphonic elements and fiery metallic strikes to add their voice.
If not already convinced the title track ensures that the release and band are to be taken as an emerging force. A great enticing guitar tease opens up the appetite before things turn into an industrial flamed welcome, but as already evident things will not take one simple path and the song moves through a stretch of heavy metal and melodic rock filtered through a gripping blaze of groove metal aggression. It is an excellent fascination of a song that reinforces the band as one to keep a close eye upon, especially when their album comes out. Best track on the release, it alone sparks that hunger and the thought that there is also still much more within for the band to explore.
Though lyrically, due to songs being sung in Russian, things are a mystery it makes little difference to the pull and appeal of War With Yourself. It is a release which makes a strong and impressive introduction to the band and an appetising taster for their album. To leap into the wider fields of awareness it might be the album which is the trigger rather than this EP but you sense that the band is on course for that success at some point.
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