There is a storm brewing within UK metal and it comes in the thrilling shape of London based quintet Beneath Dead Waves. The quintet has just unleashed debut album Inertia, a thunderous and magnetically diverse slab of modern antagonism which is one of the most potential soaked exciting introductions to a band in a long time. It is a monster of a release, an encounter mauling and gnawing the senses but equally seducing with a technical craft and striking imagination which ensures swift allegiance to its call. There is also an undefined vein of familiarity to the proposition which brings a kinship to the unpredictable and ruggedly inventive exploits unveiled. Inertia is not the greatest album this year but right on the frontline of the most thrilling.
Beneath Dead Waves was formed in 2007 in Dorset by vocalist Joey Draper, guitarist Doug Cartwright, and drummer Leigh Costanza, the trio bringing the inspirations of band such as Between The Buried And Me and Tool into their creative whirlpool, as well as varied styles from thrash to groove and nu to progressive metal. The result as evidenced by Inertia is a rigorous persuasion which though holding familiar aspects, is still a unique incitement. The band relocated to London spending the next few years writing and recording before finding guitarist Matt Reeves and bassist Chad McCamlie, whose recruitment brought the band a new depth and potency in sound. Last year saw the band igniting stages and playing with the likes of Monuments, Intronaut, and Scale the Summit, and before its end the single Imperfect released to acclaim and eager appetites. Inertia is the next mighty step in the ascent of the band, one impossible to ignore or not find a forceful hunger for as well as what comes next from the five-piece.
The release opens with Nemacyst, the song taking mere moments to intrigue and fire up attention with its initial swirling graze of guitar swiftly joined by dramatically textured riffs and demanding rhythms. Setting down its frame, the song erupts into a thrash fuelled rampancy driven by the raw vocal squalls of Draper, his tones an appealing irritant to match the nagging surge and intensity of the guitars. It is a stirring start which only strengthens its lure when Draper switches to clean a delivery, the frontman showing impressive prowess in both his attacks, and a weave of technical resourcefulness from the guitar. Admittedly on first listens the impressively skilled flourishes felt out of place, walking the wrong side of showing off within the rapacious turmoil, but though here it still does not quite convince, across the album the stunning skills and invention only warm a lustful want for more. The song continues to twist and flirt with ears and thoughts as it crosses it’s almost eight minutes of compelling adventure, painting a startling landscape of expressive ingenuity across an aggressive canvas. It is a stunning start straight away backed up by its successor.
Delirium similarly comes out with all guns blazing, riffs and rhythms crowding senses as a sonic toxin coaxes the imagination. Establishing its intent, a step into a slower predatory stalking ensues, guitars and vocals prowling ears whilst bass and drums draw an intimidating bait to further the seduction. As its predecessor the track swerves into unexpected detours and inventive asides, all seamlessly sculpted and each imposing new narratives and textures to contemplate. As all songs those earlier mentioned influences add spice to the maelstrom but equally here and more so through other songs, you can hear slithers of bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Korn, Lamb of God, and Exodus at play, though ultimately it is something individual to Beneath Dead Waves.
Both the compelling Deliriant and the title track grip the tightest hold of attention and appetite, the first a hypnotic mesh of dark seduction and rabid hostility which bewitches and violates simultaneously. It is a glorious and exhaustive tempest of merciless attitude and creative intensity, riffs scything across senses whilst rhythms badger and pummel their walls further. It is a formidable provocation to which the again dual vocal incitement of Draper, alluring shadows, and a searing solo cast rich tempting hues. Its successor soothes the bruising with a gentle opening, guitar and keys a warm caress courted by the darker but no more intrusive tone of the bass. With clean vocals adding their tender touch, the song is an elegant breeze though soon prone to eruptions of expressive causticity and sonic abrasing. Again there is a web of technical resourcefulness holding the imagination, taking the listener deeper into a storm gathering weight and passion within the alluring terrain. Eventually that pressure breaks for an equally tempting flame of thrash bred suasion veined by sonic spires, though one bred with melodic and stoner-esque colouring. It is another forcibly convincing emprise of sound and thoughts, the album growing with every breath and song into a mighty marker for the band.
Next up You Were Nothing pushes into a heavier rock fired premise, the vocals of Draper clean but equipped with a great growl which easily slips into his caustic side whilst the guitars groove and court the passions with a smoothly evolving and changing intent. Not the strongest song on the release compared to its companions, the track still pleasingly shows the potent and richly pleasing diversity of the band in songwriting and sound as it makes way for the outstanding Imperfect. It is easy to see why the single lit fires in so many people and the media. From its first Korn like bait, the track just grows and towers over ears with a bitterness soaked antagonism and harsh smothering of riffs. As always it is just a moment in a constantly moving onslaught, clean vocals and melodic crooning worming in on the persuasion as technical enterprise fires up its invention. It is a scintillating encounter, the band merging styles and flavours with creative alchemy so that the song alone sparks determined interest in its creators whilst within the context of the album it shines like an anthemic beacon within a raging fire.
Inertia is completed by firstly the virulent and emotive hurricane of A Life Worth Taking and lastly the excellent fiercely yet seductively impacting Suppressional. The track brings hints of Josh Homme inventiveness into a melodic rock embrace which itself is encased in an agonizing swamp of metallic and vehement kissed voracity. It is a stunning end to a striking release, a last showing of the already impressive and sure to grow to greater heights, craft and invention of the band. They and their sound can only get better which is a thrilling thought, one you suspect a new army of fans will also have for Beneath Dead Waves from now on.
Inertia is available now via Nemacystem Records through all stores.
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