The word in the ear before making our introduction with Canadian metallers Where Giants Once Stood through their new Live Above EP was that this is a band striding the lip of major things. Having been buffeted and captivated by their new four track proposition it is easy to see why the keen buzz around the Toronto quartet. The release brawls and seduces with equal success and potency, its tracks each an unpredictable and exhaustive adventure which lingers to inspire swift and regular returns to their persuasion. The band merges a wealth of styles and flavours into their imagination igniting metal and though some tracks excel with the passions stronger than others, there is no escaping the constant magnetism and voracious enterprise of the band.
Drawing ever increasing attention and acclaim through their live shows, which has seen them share stages with bands such as Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, Chelsea Grin, Iwrestledabearonce, and Beartooth, Where Giants Once Stood made a powerful mark with The Changing EP. It set the band out as having the potential to ignite major fires within metal and Live Above does nothing to deter that suggestion, instead pushing the band’s sound and presence to even richer heights. Produced by Jon Howard from Threat Signal, the EP roars with passion and invention from its first breath, driven by metal which is as transfixing as it is aggressively bruising.
New single Living in Security opens up the fury, its heart soon raging from within the initial sonic coaxing which starts the track off. Riffs swiftly create an imposing wall of vicious stabs aligned to the hostile beats of drummer Austin Hamilton, before exploding into a magnetic stride with a swing to the grooves and rhythms and raw passion to the vocals of Reshaun Page. It is a blistering persuasion which continues to twist and evolve with every passing stretch of chords and sonic endeavour, and increase in temptation as the impressive angst soaked squalls of Page pass over parts of the song to the outstanding clean vocal tones of guitarist Jordan Turnbull backed as potently by those of rhythm guitarist Scott Major. Entwining melodic and progressive bred metal with metalcore ferocity and antagonism, the song is as resourcefully contagious as it is dramatically sculpted, Turnball igniting its air and canvas with some delicious and exceptional creative string skills.
Every second of the track is an imaginative and startling emprise, never allowing thoughts and expectations to settle. It is as much an impressive part of the song as the sounds themselves; that ingenuity continued with Illuminate and subsequently the rest of the release. The second track makes a less hostile entrance, mellow croons casting the first tempting before Page rages impressively from within the swirling warm maelstrom of sound. Expanding with tempestuous animosity and seduction combined, the song squalls and seduces with its emotive and physical turbulence whilst engrossing ears and thoughts with the tenacious skills of each member. Maybe without the final spark which makes its predecessor so incendiary, the track still sparks another vein of hunger in appetite and emotions before drifting off for The Damaged to begin releasing its sonic lures and voracious narrative. A virulent infectiousness roams the chorus whilst a spiteful but riveting toxicity soaks every scarring riff and syllable of the vocal malevolence. As by now expected, the song moves through more revolutions and curves of sound and ideation than a swing door, again thoughts bewitched by the entwining strands of widely varied metal weaved into the masterful and irrepressible incitement.
The release ends with the exceptional Myths Lies And Crimes, a track which is mouth-watering in its tapestry of sound and invention. At its core, the track is like a meeting of August Burns Red and Trivium under the influential potency of My Chemical Romance at their early best. It is as fascinating as it is dominating, a sensational encounter which like the EP as a whole, leaves ears ringing, thoughts full, and emotions greedy for more.
Whether the Live Above EP is your introduction to Where Giants Once Stood or the next instalment on the journey already embraced, it thrusts the band to a new dramatic and impressive status within metal. Canada’s creative sons could and should be devoured by the wide metal world thanks to the EP and if it is not now, certainly it is easy to expect it at some point in the near future.
The self-released Live Above EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-above-ep/id907144882
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