Truly standing out in the vast horde of metal bands with a hellacious bully of a sound seems to get harder and harder with every passing year and diversely brutal release. Originality is a premium numerous touch upon, often impressively, and few rarely blossom to something which really does stand alone and become the inspirer rather than the inspired. British extreme /tech metallers Idols Of Apathy fall into the former with their sound, but equally strongly impress with their five track tempest of fury and raw ingenuity, the Life Lessons EP. The release is a volatile and skilfully invasive proposition which never leaves a moment dulled by a lack of imagination and passion, qualities woven in with recognisable hues to suggest that influences breed as much of the band’s invention as their own explorations. At the same time though, the highly enjoyable Life Lessons leaves ears and appetite fiercely attentive as a rich fuel of potential hints of even bigger and individually bolder things ahead as Idols Of Apathy evolve.
Bursting from the Essex landscape in 2013, Idols Of Apathy were soon stirring up a potent local fan base, spreading further afield once they swiftly released debut single Deceiver. Its success was backed by first EP Unheard Words, which was recorded by Dan Keer. Picking up strong national and media recognition, it was the spark to the band sharing stages, to continuing acclaim, alongside the likes of Climates, Canvas, Lock & Key, Shields, Sworn In, Continents, Create to Inspire, Carcer City, and Falling With Style amongst many more. It is easy to see similar and bigger responses to the release and persuasion of Life Lessons coming up, and though it might not roar from that plateau of major originality it powerfully gives the already strong reputation of the band a new shot in the arm.
The release opens with Bipolar, a song inspired by vocalist Jack Dervish’s own condition and living up to its title in sound and character from its first evocative breath. In no time the inviting coaxing is an anger driven and heart spawned tearing of the senses, with a sound seemingly drawing on the savage intensity and hues of a Slipknot, Devil Driver, or As I Lay Dying. The lethal swings of drummer Stuart Roche resonate like masonry through ears and bone whilst the raw vocal invasion of Dervish, backed as strongly by guitarist Dean Chignell especially with his eventful clean tones, abrase and entice simultaneously. It is the web of invasive grooves and technical imagination from Chignell and fellow guitarists Tom Johnston and Joe Gregory that majorly helps turn a very decent track become a striking offering, their entwining enterprise helping the EP get off to an immense and impressive start.
The great creative irritability and hostile dynamics of the first song continues in the following Addiction, its trespass an insatiable incursion into the senses but bolder in its embrace of provocative ambiences and ‘mellower’ textures led again by clean vocals. The song itself jerks around at times like it has creative Saint Vitus Dance, twisting and lurching from idea to carnivorous intent with seamless and eventful prowess. The bass of Elliott Black is a predator in the mix, his lines and lures bestial, and though not always as open in the mix as in the first song are always there tempering or inciting the calmer and fiercer moments.
Once A Cheat / Always comes next, smothering ears in an atmospheric angst around similarly driven vocals before spilling its own animus of sound and emotion. The scything strokes of one guitar collude with a net of off-kilter sonic from another as the track blossoms a turbulence which merges moments of rich catchiness with winds of blustery causticity; the technical craft and ideation of the band from all angles ensuring predictability is an unused issue.
The scent of Whitechapel meets Revocation of the track merges with the rancorous intensity of the following Backstabber too, lining the melodic expression lighting up a track which maybe does not make the same initial impact as earlier propositions within Life Lessons but comes into its thrilling own over time and listens. It is an increasingly virulent tapestry of crippling rhythms and spiky guitar intrusiveness bursting with resourceful vitality and physical tenacity from across the board before leaving Lessons Learnt to bring the EP to an imposing like-minded and pleasing close. As well as essences which savage as old friends, there is an element of similarity between songs in certain areas but always saved from dominating things by the turbulent adventure the band builds each track upon. Whereas its predecessor’s assault was sonic and lyrical venom, the final track feels like it is an understanding incitement, melodic and harmonic essences a hug around the shoulder giving a reassurance echoing the words shared, though it still snarls and bites like a rabid beast too.
Idols Of Apathy is a band destined to more and greater attention, a suggestion hard to resist making on the evidence of the excellent Life Lessons, and if they can find that real element of originality too, the real potential of big things ahead.
The Life Lessons EP is available from December 4th.
Pete RingMaster 04/12/2015
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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