If ever a name suited a band’s sound then Bleak Falls has it, one which sums them and their music up perfectly. The UK melodic hardcore band creates and passionately expels a stark and dramatically textured expanse of gloom soaked melancholic aggressiveness which permeates senses and thoughts with ease. It is a provocative and at times smothering encounter but one which continues the promise of the band set with their debut EP Another Rainy Day of last year. The Grass Gets No Greener EP is a strong successor, one to keep the band on track as they evolve and emerge further, if arguably without leaping major steps on from its predecessor.
Formed in 2011, The Worthing quintet has earned strong attention and praise for their first release and live performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of Landscapes, The Long Haul, Isolated, Honour Is Dead, If Heroes Should Fail, and Set Your Sails. With the inspiration of bands such as Cancer Bats, Deftones, and Nirvana adding thought to their invention, Bleak Falls offers a sound which brings potent flavours from other styles into their mix though still not enough to yet give them the separate pedestal of originality which you still feel is bubbling away awaiting realisation. Like the band’s first release the EP is not an instant persuasion though it makes a strong impressive straight off but with patient attention emerges as another richly promising and provocative confrontation from the band.
Forever / Always starts things off, its emotive atmospheric embrace an angst fuelled consumption crafted by the imaginative and precise guitar play of Chris Shane and Luke Marshall. Punctuated by the intimidating beats of drummer Ben Vaughan aligned to the excellent dark snarling tone from the bass of Don Wainwright, it is a potent and imagination inspiring introduction. The raw caustic vocals of Rudi Ridgewell wrings out in fine style every ounce of emotion from every syllable to add extra drama and intensity to that already brewed within the song, though with limitations. On the earlier EP Ridgewell was a convincing ingredient to the sound but did distract from some of the inventiveness and subtle imagination around him with a singular form of attack, a one dimensional corrosive assault and it is predominantly no different upon The Grass Gets No Greener and with the same results. Nevertheless the track is a strong start soon matched by its successor.
The following ’95 has a more energetic stride to its narrative and a more intensive aggression as marked by the again excellent rapacious bass prowl and crisp rhythms. With richly appealing melodies and exacting riffs filling the menacing framework and the vocals scowling with rigorous intent, the song is another good if less than startling persuasion just as A Taste Of Change. The third song on the EP has the shifting drama and building intensity of the opener but also a want to explode into a charge of energy and excitement, which ultimately it does resist in the end. It sounds negative but actually the restraint brings an emotional exploration which only sparks senses and thoughts into a positive response.
A high point of the release comes with Deadlock, a dark shadow engulfed encounter which intrudes on ears right through to emotions with its intensive evocation. A slow exhausting intensive weave of sound invades for the majority of the track before ending on an elevated blaze of energy and intent which provides more evidence of the thought and imagination in the songwriting and its interpretation. The same applies to the closing Put Me To Sleep, it a heavily dark bordering depressive engagement but one which lifts the passions and satisfaction superbly to take best song honours on the EP. A stylish merger of an emotionally bleeding ballad and passion drenched, riotous defiance the track is an excellent inciting provocateur which pushes the promise and depth of the band further to reinforce the thought that Bleak Falls is a band destined to something majorly impressive ahead. The vocals debatably let the song down a little, that lack of diversity again defusing the heights it could have soared to but the final emotive fire is still a thoroughly compelling and enjoyable testing.
Bleak Falls is definitely moving in the right direction as The Grass Gets No Greener EP easily shows though expectations probably assumed the evolution would be greater or certainly swifter than it seems to be so far. The band though is one which has to be watched closely and their journey enjoyed which will not be a problem as the EP proves.
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