It may intensely fascinate more than it explosively thrills but The Story So Far, the debut EP from UK metallers Faces Of Eve, is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to a potential drenched band. Across six compelling tracks, they create a tapestry of diverse sounds which at any given moment can be as progressive metal as they are alternative rock, as tech metal as they are experimental. It makes for a seriously enticing proposal keeping ears and imagination rigorously keen and though many songs just lack the final essence to ignite the biggest reactions, an ingrained appetite for more is a swiftly done deal.
The Hertfordshire quartet emerged towards the end of 2013, Faces Of Eve emerging from the ashes of Brave The Moment, Shields, Trophies Of Dahmer, and Olympus Must Fall. A potent following to their impressive live presence quickly grew and now fresh off a UK tour with Oaths, the band is turning up the heat on a national recognition with The Story So Far.
It all starts with For My Fallen Heroes and an enticing coaxing from guitars and a harmonic ambience. The strings of Dan Sloane gently dance with ears as the melodic tones of vocalist Benjamin Fordham Black add their caresses to the magnetic persuasion. The air of the song has an increasingly imposing texture, not intimidating but carrying open shadows enhanced by the heavily wiry tones of bass. It does all unite in a richer and thicker tempting, though that is for mere moments as the song suddenly stops. It is a strong opening but the abruptness of the track without being instantly replaced by its successor, or bleeding straight into it, feels slightly odd. It is a minor thing though and soon forgotten as Feed emerges from the distance with a tangy groove around punchy rhythms. Full in the face, the track is soon a thrilling web of spidery grooves and sonic tendrils wrapped in more strong vocals and contagious hooks. An increasing unpredictability almost as quickly erupts too, a weapon the band use to great effect over the release and here emerges in jagged riffs and barbarous snarls from the bass of Alistair Hines which strikingly flirt with the superbly crafted mesh of flavours and technical imagination. It is like a festival of sound, a collusion of textures hinting at bands like Circles, Muse, Alexisonfire, and Shattered Skies, and at its heart just an irresistible rocker.
The following Crime Of Passion opens with a sombre atmosphere, vocally and musically, as scythes of guitar court the imagination with the vocals in a melancholic yet charming invitation. The steely funk bait of Hine’s bass stirs the song’s air soon after as the blend of falsetto and emotive vocals entangle, the track eventually shrugging off its reserve as the potent beats of Oliver Jones incite a voracious and snarling tango of metal bred sound. As its predecessor, the song is soon evolving and weaving in various styles with every passing grouping of seconds and similarly gripping ears and thoughts through its bold adventure.
Temporal Rotunda also has a morose toned start, voices and sounds cloaked in a cloudy ambience which eventually sparks into a composed but fiery stroll littered with jabbing beats and gnarly riffs bound in spicy grooves and melodic incitement. The track prowls at certain points, imposing its weight and alluring intensity whilst veining its trespass with attention pulling slithers and twists of melodic and off kilter imagination. By its end the dark side of the track is a riveting enticement, leaving a lingering pleasure which One Man Show runs with through its own vivacious and agitated qualities. The technical growl and nagging of song and sound is a persistent beckoning but the band inventively send it spinning with swift flashes of avant-garde and progressive ingenuity, matched by resourceful vocals. It is an outstanding track which epitomises everything good about The Story So Far and how it just misses the mark. It is inventive and fiercely imaginative but never pushes its promise to the limits hoped, never quite finding the spark which tips a great song into a show stopper.
It is nevertheless inescapable evidence of the songwriting and technical qualities of Faces Of Eve and their infectious sound which is confirmed on final time by Dwellers. The closing song is another which is a born rocker at heart, its aggressive alternative rock core encased in a spiral of tenacious grooves, their union twisting into an increasingly dramatic and ferocious blaze. Things continue to move into new textures and scenery as the track increasingly lure ears and enjoyment, always returning to its creative spine but always providing new highly satisfying endeavours off of it.
Faces Of Eve is a name to make a note of and The Story So Far a release to seriously think about checking out. Both are destined to promote thoughts that here is a band with a very successful future before them if they want it.
The Story So Far EP is available from Monday 29th June through all digital platforms.