The recent release of their new EP has confirmed what many have been thinking and openly saying, metallers Sertraline are becoming one of the UK’s most compelling bands. Their new five track offering builds on all the potential and prowess of its acclaimed predecessor and then lays down its own plateau of craft and invention which simply demands attention.
Emerging from Stoke-On-Trent in 2014, Sertraline has increasingly tempted support and thick praise through releases and a striking live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Voyager, Sumo Cyco, Forever Still, Butcher Babies, Kobra and the Lotus, Skarlett Riot, and VOLA over the years. Second EP, Guilty was a potent moment in their rise up the ranks with its release in 2017 but we expect to be richly outdone in success and plaudits by Clouded Minds & Silver Lines.
Already rich in enterprise and imagination, the band’s mix of progressive and melodic metal has simply grown between releases, its snarl is more intense, melodic radiance growing inescapably seductive while the craft and imagination behind each aural tapestry within the new outing as captivating as the sounds they cast as swiftly proven by EP opener, Inside Out.
The track beckons ears with a melodic weave initially, one soon cradling the warm melodic tones of Lizzie Parry. Suggestive and tempting, it opens up to an even more intriguing and inviting proposition with a more steely weave of grooves emerging. There is something of a Voyager like hue to the song which only adds to its temptation before the predatory instincts and traits of their sound fully erupt. As the track expands Lizzie soon shows her growing prowess of blending guttural and melodic vocals to echo the mix texturing of the sounds around her, they also an evolving adventure in ears as the rhythmic dexterity and predation of drummer Si and bassist Hendo align to the adept enterprise of guitarists Mike and Wilson.
Mean to Me II follows, rising in a sonic breeze to sweep through ears with a sinister breath and magnetic agility. As in the first, the song twists and turns as it fuses contrasts in voice and texture, never feeding expectations but creating a fertile landscape of familiar essences and greater fresh invention while its successor 2205, also emerging from a calm distance, unveils a mercurial landscape as forceful as it is contagious. The song is less volatile than the first pair of tracks but certainly bares its teeth and shares a rapacious trespass within its melodic adventure before Screaming For Sleep similarly crafts a tempestuousness confrontation as infectious as it is imposing on the way to taking favourite song honours.
Isolation completes the EP, its name apt for the times we currently are embracing and also a major highlight rivalling its predecessor with every breath from its drama soaked entrance and subsequent raptorial stalking of ears and devouring of the imagination to its capricious prowl and tempting. It is a superb end to a release which impressed straightaway and has only grown in temptation and stature much like Sertraline themselves.
Clouded Minds & Silver Lines is out now.
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