March sees the release of a new EP from British melodic metallers Sertraline, an encounter earning a fair amount of anticipation due to its well-received predecessor and the band’s increasing reputation. The Guilty EP offers five potent slices of rock and metal fronted by the quickly engaging tones of Lizzie, tracks which revel in the new growth of sound and imagination spawning them from within the band.
Formed in the Autumn of 2014, the Stoke-on-Trent hailing band quickly stirred up a loyal local fan base and close attention, their first single a couple of months in, Set The World Alight, luring strong radio play and support from BBC Introducing. Their well-received debut EP Bury The Ghosts pushed the band into national spotlights in 2015, its success more than backed by Sertraline’s dynamic live presence which has seen them shared stages with the likes of Butcher Babies, Toseland, Kobra and the Lotus, Skarlett Riot, and Normandie along the way. Last year saw a new line-up in place and the further honing of the band’s sound, Guilty showing the enjoyable results from the evolution.
The EP title track is first up, ears consumed by a wall of carnivorous riffs and intrusive rhythms. It is a striking appetite raising start soon relinquishing its threat as a wiry melody escapes the guitar. Any disappointment from losing that raw trespass dissipates as Lizzie’s tones dance on the emerging web of riffs and grooves from Mike and Wilson. With beats still swiping with fierce intent as the bass of Hendo enticingly grumbles, the song takes a firm grip of ears and imagination. Throat raw growls intermittently join the adventure, contrasting with the harmonic beauty of Lizzie but for personal tastes lacking the bite to be as successful as their certainly welcomed addition could have been. Nevertheless it only adds to the strong character and increasing potency of the excellent track.
Successor Snakes opens with a melodic coaxing, atmospherics gently kissing a lone melody before a weave of Periphery scented enterprise sparks song and imagination. As the first, the individual prowess of the band is a captivation, their combined adventure just as compelling if lacking the imposing impact of the first track. It is the subtlety of its twists and turns which predominantly make that difference resulting in the song taking longer to reach the same heights though with listens it surely does.
New video/single Change Of Heart is next, an even mellower proposal with a poppier catchiness to a harmonic stroll courted by cantankerous riffs, rhythmic punches, and that coarser expulsion of voice. It is obvious single material, melodies and Lizzie tantalising but does not quite live up to those around it for personal tastes though still adding to the EP’s success.
Nyeevise gets the appetite keenly back on track, its opening brooding presence carrying a whiff of Breed 77 to it before bolder sinews spin a glorious web of steely riffs and rapacious senses twisting grooves. Like a mix of Halestorm and Forever Still, the song growls and seduces; vocals and guitars providing an alluring blend of contrasting textures and creative drama.
Bringing the release to a highly satisfying close is I Admit The Blame, an emotive serenade with fire in its heart and melancholic beauty in its roar as well as creative attitude in its body. Another which grows with every listen rather than making a swift impact, it is a fine end to a thoroughly pleasing encounter. We are still not sure about the harsh side of the vocals, they missing the ‘savagery’ desired, but still an inventive part of the fresh blaze fuelling the Sertraline sound which will only take the band to higher plateaus.
The Guilty EP is out March 3rd @ http://www.wearesertraline.bigcartel.com/
Pete RingMaster 02/03/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright