Equipped with a noticeably heavier presence and voracity in vocals and sound, metallers Subservience unleash their new EP Upheaval to not only reinforce the band’s reputation as being one of the most exciting extreme metal bands emerging in the UK, but push them towards the fore of British metal in general. Consisting of four savage and unrelenting onslaughts loaded with the insatiable grooving the band is renowned for, the release is a virulent tsunami of brutality and contagious predation. It hits and swings with greater ferocity and energy than a wrecking ball yet assaults ears and passions with an inescapable anthemic and easily accessible binding. It is a glorious rampage which you can maybe argue about its originality but cannot dismiss the skilled and vicious infestation it unleashes on the passions.
Hailing from Brighton and formed in 2010, Subservience has only constantly increased their presence and garnering of fans and support since releasing the Blueprint To Chaos demo in their first year. A well-received split with Sa-da-KO followed in 2011 before the EPs Dystopia and Ripped In Half of 2012 and 2013 respectively, caught a wider imagination and spotlight. Both were furious and intensive slabs of metal but in hindsight just a teaser for the might and fury uncaged by Upheaval. The first with new vocalist Dan Lofthouse, who alone has added a more potent almost bestial essence to the music through his uncompromising and accomplished tones, the EP bares a creatively forceful intensity in sound and craft which surpasses the band’s previous successes and puts up the band’s death metal bred, groove infested malicious emprise as a true attention grabber.
The release opens with its title track and coming from a distant sonic lure is swiftly colliding with the senses, the destructive and merciless riffery of Ryan Jardine and Martin Shouler carnivorous protagonists within the scything swipes of drummer Tom Newland. It is a callous assault but one unafraid to offer small respite with a melodic regrouping before unleashing its full venom again, though it continues to allow very quick breathes to be snatched within its pestilential savagery. It is an outstanding start, Lofthouse an irresistible and intimidating provocateur to sound and ears whilst the brooding but no less vicious bass riffs of Scott Bishop, bring further menacing colour to the corrosive portrait offered. As the release, the song is all about the grooves and hostility from its riffery and rhythms but there is no missing and refusing the twists of potent invention spawning all aspects and the infectious bait seducing imagination and passions.
Second track Inhuman Savagery has no shyness in consuming and brutalising ears from the off either, though grooves are quicker to ingrain their toxicity and the overall initial intensity of the song is slightly reined in compared to its predecessor. It is a tempestuous beast of a song, its sonic predation and merciless rhythmic inhospitality more enterprising and reserved in character but still colliding with body and senses like a mountain collapsing under the weight of its malevolence and antagonistic intent.
Slither comes next, stalking the listener’s senses and psyche from its first touch but winding a melodic enticement around its predacious coaxing. Of course it is not long before the song is gnawing and oppressing the senses with its caustic grooves and inflexible intensity but this is tempered by the slight but effective melodic lures which escape across the song. Though overall it lacks the spark of the tracks around it, the torrent of repressive riffs and rhythms which core the song predominantly ignite thoughts and passions, especially with the matching ear grinding guttural tones of Lofthouse on top, and the track another insatiable and irresistible incitement.
The EP is brought to a close by Divine Malevolence, vocals and thumping beats a colossal roar and bruising from its first second and the subsequent furnace of flaming acidic grooves and anthemic barbarity severe addiction. The track is a leviathan of searing grooves through a tar thick climate of cruel rhythms and scarring riffing, all driven and lorded over by the excellent almost tyrannical vocal presence of Lofthouse. It is a brute of a proposition which ensures a scintillating end to a thrilling release.
Subservience has pushed their potent sound in an impressive direction between releases and as suggested is now poised to step into the front line of British extreme metal. They have still a short way to go to forge a truly unique sound but with releases like this it is fun waiting.
The self-released Upheaval EP is available now.
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