Finding an inventive and commanding middle ground between the raw intensity of metal and the anthemic infectiousness of alternative rock with a firm dash of post hardcore involved, British quintet Greyhaven recently uncaged their new EP State Of Mind. It is an encounter which roars and serenades ears and imagination in equal measure; bullying and seducing the senses with seven explosive and imposingly compelling proposals.
London based, Greyhaven formed early 2015 and soon earned a potent reputation for a live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Create To Inspire, Idols Of Apathy, Vera Grace, and The Afterparty. Their first year also the release of debut EP The Flood, a well-received introduction which solidly set the band out as one to watch. State Of Mind suggests much more as it reveals Greyhaven taking new strides in songwriting and sound with riveting results.
Recorded with Dan Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), State Of Mind is a tempest of anthemic intensity and sound aligned to mellower moments of melodic intimacy. From opening suggestive instrumental Sinners a sense of creative and emotive drama blossoms in ears, the track growing in predacious shadows and poetic charm before it eventually drifts into the waiting jaws and rousing tempestuousness of Hexes. As guitarists Alex Hills and Jim White weave a tapestry of descriptive riffs and melodic tendrils in tandem with similarly potent keys, the raw throated growl of bassist Edd Kerton explodes to be subsequently replaced by the impressive clean and emotive tones of vocalist Sam Paterson. Tapestry is the best word for the song, so many elements across the band bred with imagination and interwoven in a proposal which never stops revealing new essences and shades of tone in every listen.
It is a craft and prowess which applies to all songs within the release to be fair, the following Darkest Hour swift confirmation as a great growling bassline from Kerton and the merciless swings of drummer Connor Tate link up with the harmonious delivery of Paterson and the emotive melodies which embrace ears. A fiery solo only adds to the imposing yet captivating drama shaping the song, again each minute a cauldron of enterprise breeding new adventures with every encounter.
There are familiar elements to the Greyhaven sound which suggest inspirations from the likes of Architects and Alexisonfire, and maybe are most openly apparent within the excellent On & On, though they are spices quickly engulfed in the band’s own eager imagination. The source of the band’s new video, the track leaps around and burns like a sonic fire, the guitars licking at the senses with melodic heat as rhythms crackle at the core amidst vocally coloured flames.
From one powerful persuasion to another as the highly infectious Our Stand steps forward next, its proposal bruising and magnetic as Paterson shines within another storm of metallic predation and emotionally inflamed contagion as savage as it is rousing as it is pop lined infectious. That lighter air also frequents successor Brother, though again Greyhaven infuse it into a creative and musical ferocity which almost venomously snarls. The song adds another shade to the sound and songwriting of the band, its catchiness an inescapable lure perfectly courted by a barbarous intent headed by Kerton’s toxically grouchy growls.
Closed by a thoroughly enjoyable acoustic version of The Flood, the title track of that first EP, State Of Mind proves and further suggests that Greyhaven is heading towards becoming a potent part of the British heavy rock scene. Already they have provided two releases no one should ignore.
State Of Mind is out now via Outsider Records across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016
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