If the members of Call To Arms are as young as photos of them suggest, then it is hard not to be gripped by intrigue and excitement as to how good this band could become given the impressiveness of debut EP Invictus. Made up of five voracious and inventive metal tempests, the release hits the listeners straight between the eyes with its raw hostility cast into imaginative and confrontational anthemic persuasion.
The band began in 2013, formed by vocalist Dean Donnelly alongside original bassist Jordan Conway. Quickly the line-up was completed by guitarists Daniel Tyrell and Niall Ennis, lead and rhythm respectively, and drummer Ben Deane. Concentrating on honing their sound for the first few months, it is fair to say that the Ballymun hailing Call To Arms quickly whipped keen vocal attention and support. Making their live debut at The Academy, Dublin as part of The Blastbeat: Battle of the Bands, the band has gone on to share stages with the likes of Avatar, Fozzy, and Chelsea Grin and personnel wise seen Alex Caffrey replace Conway and recently after the recording and release of Invictus, Deane leave the band.
Produced by Joe Cleere, Invictus as suggested earlier, is an imposing and striking entrance by the band, needing very little time to make a potent impression as opener Our Salvation gets to work on ears and appetite. Featuring guest vocals from Sam Gorman of Enshrined, the track builds a thumping invitation with rhythms and spicy grooves, its lure heavy metal bred but keeping in its creative pocket for now, the subsequent rage fuelling its presence. Soon hitting a thick stride though, vocals spill antagonism and combat in their raw tone and delivery, matched in kind by the bass as the guitars spin an infectious web of hooks and abrasing riffery. It is like a mix of Biohazard and Killswitch Engage in many ways, yet has a freshness which especially hits as band and song twist in unpredictable and gripping enterprise. As it evolves and expands its imagination, a psychotic influence hits the song’s compelling bassline and vocals, their moment to stalk the psyche only leading to another ferocious assault posing as the climax.
Bullet With Your Name steps up next bullying ears with vocals and ravenous sounds though yet again there is an infectious spine and adventure to the track which has you welcoming its vicious assault. As in its predecessor and songs to come, there is as much a punk/hardcore richness to the tempest as a thrash/metal breeding, though it is the latter spawning another magnetic persuasion of emerging imaginative twists and endeavour. The individual skills and resourcefulness of the band is also in open evidence as well as an eagerness to push ideas and textures with elements of discord and unpredictability.
The release continues to impress and reveal new aspect within the band’s songwriting and sound as Imprisoned Darkness unleashes its fury next. Opening with a mesh of acidic grooves which in turn spark a delicious hook which can only be described as Dead Kennedys like, the song rallies attention and emotions. Those initial lures continue to grip within a sonic and vocal abrasion unafraid to colour its animus with elements of classic metal and metalcore like hues. It is inescapable persuasion though soon outshone by the upstanding Mirrors, its opening military in rhythmic tempting and militant in attitude. Once more metal and hardcore unite in one hellacious and infectiously alluring examination veined by skilled and flavoursome grooves amidst rich sonic exploits. The track takes top honours within Invictus and if you want a teaser before braving the Call To Arms onslaught, it tells you all you need to know about band, sound, and their stirring potential.
The EP is closed by The Core, a final uncompromising anthem you just know will have venues throbbing with bodies and attitude. Thrash and punk bred, the track is an intense and incendiary end to a tremendous first look at and feel of the Call To Arms sound and presence. Invictus is pleasingly raw and shows the band still finding its unique feet but there is no doubting that we have one rather promising and exciting protagonist in our midst which can only get big, bolder, and more fearsome.
The Invictus EP is available now @ http://calltoarmsirl.bandcamp.com/releases
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