Hailing from Italy, My Refuge is a band which has steadily gained very decent attention for themselves at home, a recognition which will be increased whilst potentially starting a just as keen reaction further afield through the release of new EP Living In Anger. The release is a power metal encounter which without casting any major surprises easily satisfies and potently continues the Varese based quintet’s more than solid emergence.
My Refuge was started in 2010 as a solo project by guitarist Mauro Paietta, a start soon followed by the release of the 3407 Picture Of An August Night EP. Expanding in size with the enlisting of guitarist Simone Dettore, bassist Salvatore Chimenti, drummer Valerio Ferrari, and lastly vocalist Moz, this current line-up in place and stable from 2012, My Refuge was soon writing and creating potent and flavoursome sounds. Living In Anger is the next unleashing from the band, a taster and invitation to their forthcoming debut full-length due later this year, which easily raises interest and appetite for band and album. It is fair to say that it does not light any raging fires but just as undeniably it does offer plenty of temptation and potential to satisfy and lure a wealth of new hearts into the upcoming horizons of My Refuge.
Opener A Storm is Coming is exactly as its title suggests, a tempestuous and voracious energy soaking ears from the first second. Though not exactly entering the eye of the onslaught, the song soon settles into a sinew clad, rhythmically driven stalking, the thumps of Ferrari bordering belligerent and the guitar design and tempting of Paietta and Dettore enticing. The magnetic bass sound from Chimenti adds its own individual predation to the stalking gait of the track whilst Moz provides a strong and varied vocal narrative which complements the song’s exploration without leaving lingering fires. There is an open familiarity to the song, as across the whole EP, but it makes resourceful use of previously well-worn paths to build a pleasing and very easy to return to encounter.
The following song, The Cage (Oh Demon In My Eyes) does not carve out new ventures for heavy and power metal either but imaginably feeds any wants and needs from the genre with skill and endeavour. Like the first, the track does not rampage and push the listener into anthemic pastures with grand and mischievous premises like many power metal charges, but instead centres on emotive and dramatically passionate aspects. The vocals and guitars explore these evocative hues intensively and creatively leaving bass and drums to intimidate and lure the senses in deeper; it is a strong and potent blend impressively sculpted and delivered, if lacking the key to waking a more ravenous appetite for its invention.
The title track steps up next with more of the same design in its particular pattern; vocals and thick melodies with an acidic nature leading the suasion from within another intensively brought rhythmic cage. Moz again unveils a good stretch of delivery with purpose and skill, even the typical heavy metal wails which usual fall on barren ground with our tastes only enhancing the variety of the song. Parading an almost carnivorous throat to its intent, the song does not quite match the previous pair but still adds to the growing presence and convincing provided by the band.
The EP is concluded by an acoustic song called Empty Rooms. To be honest it is a track which initially did not lay any really persuasive hands on thoughts and emotions but as it makes its way across and deeper into its emotive journey, the union of guitars and vocals work under the skin to provide a real highlight of the release. The controlled and wide array of vocals is a vibrant treat in the melancholic embrace of the song, a suasion bringing a very decent release to an outstanding close.
My Refuge feels like a band still finding its unique presence and voice but providing a satisfying presence on that journey. Living in Anger will not set your heart racing but definitely makes for a pleasing and refreshing addition to power and melodic metal, which is always a well worth investigating quality.
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