With a reputation well on the rise, UK metallers Earthbound have just released their new EP, an encounter which is going to do their ascent up the metal ladder no harm at all. Four slabs of the band’s melodic death metal nurtured sound, Desolate swiftly grabbed attention and only proceeded to tighten its grip thereon in.
Hailing from Hitchin, Earthbound emerged in 2017 and soon lured interest with their debut EP, Endure a few months after. Originally a quartet, it was with the recruiting of guitarist John Stacy to stand alongside vocalist Tom Watson, guitarist/vocalist Louie Penfold, bassist Chris Stroud, and drummer Richard Shearing that something “clicked” within the band. An acclaimed appearance at Bloodstock Open Air Festival and playing support to Doyle and Countless Skies followed to enhance the word on the band and a sound which within Desolate devours the senses and ignites the imagination.
With the likes of Trivium, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, and Countless Skies declared as influences, Earthbound create a tempest borne out of death metal voracity meets melodic metalcore dexterity. It proves a compelling proposition within their new EP, each track adventurous in intent and accomplished in invention. It begins with Of Suffering, the track looming from the distance with open ferocity to quickly explode upon ears. Riffs and grooves invade as rhythms blitz the senses yet immediately there is an instinctive contagiousness which escalates the lure of attention. The raw throated squalls escaping Watson are just as potent a trespass as the sounds around them, the backing yells of Penfold as forcibly eager, but it is with the clean delivery of the former that the track truly ignites. Both sides to his presence provide strong quality but his melodic presence is especially striking. The song itself continues to harass and tempt as it too reveals an enterprise of varying flavours and textures across its dramatic landscape, the EP off to a powerful and impressive start.
Solitude follows with melodic enticement as its coaxing, its atmospheric breath soon welcoming another emotion rich clean delivery from Watson. Drama soon lines every note and the subsequent rally of rhythms before dark clouds intensify skies encroached by equally darkening sounds. From within more classic metal spiced threads of guitar emerge as keys float across the air of the song, its ground a motion of volatile endeavour. Toxic breath also infests the vocals as the track continues to expand and blossom, its landscape as unpredictable and imaginative and indeed magnetic as its predecessor’s.
Similarly Worlds Apart opens up with melodic radiance to the fore, vocals and guitars a warm invitation though shadows still lurk and eventually step forth as the mercurial climate of the track sparks with greater tempestuousness. Nevertheless, its melodic metal imagination fuels every twist and level of intensity before Remnants grips just as thick attention with its steely wires and invasive ruthlessness. It is a tempest of sound and craft which leaves no second void of persuasion and moment lacking the drama of enterprise. With a passage of atmospheric calm and emotive intimation like an irresistible oasis in an ever compelling storm, the track provides a powerful end to an equally striking release.
There are certainly moments and aspects which excite more than others within Desolate but from start to finish it only impressed, Earthbound living up to their reputation so far and laying seeds to a far greater level of plaudits ahead as they continue to grow and evolve.
Desolate is out now.
Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019
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