The next part in their cycle of four EPs, Part II: Europa is the latest encounter with British outfit Core of iO. Their new three track adventure is also further proof to the highly magnetic nature of their technical metal meets progressive rock bred sound and a great end to a successful year for the band which has already been marked by their acclaimed appearances at 2017’s UK-Tech Fest and Mammothfest.
Formed in 2014, Core of iO has been referenced to the likes of Sikth, Fall of Troy, The Mars Volta, and Deftones; especially with the release of their last two EPs in Part IV: Callisto in 2015 and earlier this year, Part III: Ganymede. Each has hooked the imagination in diverse ways, a success Europa emulates from its first breath.
It opens up with the outstanding Stuck, guitars instantly webbing ears with their lively enterprise and suggestive tones. As the leads vocals of rhythm guitarist Bob Tett begin their flavoursome declaration, the bass of Gareth Sidwell energetically strolls as it moodily grumbles; the song‘s broadening textures and invention blossoming around it. Lead guitarist Luke Stenlake casts a tapestry of threads as funky and infectious as they are magnetically melodic within it, Tett’s and Sidwell’s strings similarly boisterous and imaginative as Rich Carter’s beats bite with rousing incitement. It is a transfixing and addictive kaleidoscope of sound and a mighty start to the EP.
Hit The River Hard follows, its tale inspired by one of the band’s grandfather’s exploits in WW2, having been shot down over Holland in 1944 in his MK IV Sterling bomber. The track immediately springs drama and emotively cloaked enterprise upon ears, rhythms entangled by the guitars as Tett expressively roars. Musically alone, the danger and risk for the song’s protagonist is suggested, lyrics further colouring the historic painting unravelling in the ears. As its predecessor, the track is a persistently and increasingly enthralling engagement.
From its opening tender melodic caress with its haunting grace, its successor and closing track Lenuta brews a tempestuous air and tone which note by note, second by second builds into a cauldron of emotive angst and creative dexterity. The track never quite ignites into the raging fire it hints at but every melodic tendril and imposing rhythm has an invasive edge and volatility matched in the vocal prowess of Tett and though not quite sparking the passions as rigorously as its companions, it makes an absorbing end to a highly enjoyable release and further confirmation of the compelling proposition that is Core of iO.
Part II: Europa is released December 1st and available @ https://coreofio1.bandcamp.com/album/part-ii-europa-ep
Pete RingMaster 30/11/2017
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