It seems that across 2015, and indeed going back to last year, there has been a tide of highly enjoyable new post and melodic hardcore protagonists leaping on the senses with varying success. There have been some truly impressive debuts and some carrying the real potential of major things to grip attention. As we reflect whilst tapping keys though, few have been a truly lingering proposal with a sound easy to recall at a sniff of a memory, bands which have made a truly inescapable impact. Death Kindly Waits For Me is one band which definitely had that success and now we are eager to add Athenas Word. The Dutch band makes its introduction with the Lasting Legacy EP, a debut that musically captivates ears and imagination, if admittedly without dramatically reshaping the genre with major originality, yet. That alone makes the release a potent confrontation but aligned to a rousing vocal attack which is empowered by various strains of punk; it is a bruising and fiercely exhilarating tempest that just excites.
Athenas Word was officially formed in the Autumn of 2014, though the seeds and some songs in the band’s armoury went back to the previous year when bassist Tjerk Goselink and guitarists Dennis Sjoers and Jerry Klein initially began working on their vision of the project. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of While She Sleeps, Napoleon, Architects, and Heights, a few artists Athenas Word has also been compared too, the band’s full line-up was completed by early 2015 with the addition of vocalist Erik Voestermans last year and drummer Kasper Stap this. The band has been a potent roar on the Dutch live scene since, whilst taking time out to record and release the already well-received Lasting Legacy. Now the EP gets a reboot into broader attention and European markets, a nudge to be quickly supported by the band live as they become a more widely visible proposition.
It opens with Deserved Freedom, an instantly arousing sonic bellow which does take its time setting up the senses before launching a ravenous rhythmic assault within a web of guitar causticity and enterprise. It is an imposing assault which, even in its more even tempered moments, is a ravenous proposal driven by the excellent belligerent roars of Voestermans. Within the first blaze of melodic toxicity and bracing brutality, a contagious quality soaks the varied textures of imagination, some loud and vocal within the tempest and some a fascinating squirm in the belly of the hardcore fuelled storm. It is an outstanding start resonating in ears and thoughts after its departure and whipping up a hungry appetite to hear more in its wake.
Death From Above is the first to feed that fresh greed, its opening also a quickly thick enticement ensuring rich focus is a given. Vocals and rhythms are a carnivorous proposition but find themselves entwined in an acidic tendril of guitar which tempers and enhances the song’s venomous seduction simultaneously. Once more the vocals just hit the spot. They are not spectacular but in grasping an organic mix of punk and grizzly rock rapacity, provide something different and highly flavoursome to song and release. As its predecessor, the track comes to a great abrupt halt; its job done, nothing more to say attitude adding to the power of its drama and success.
The following Wolfpack makes a more ‘conventional’ entrance, melodies wrapping hostile intensity as vocals and rhythms badger. The more adventurous aspects come as the track merges relative emotive calms with the maelstrom of volatility driving the track, the anthemic latter admittedly, for personal tastes, where the song has its most potent elements. It is a rousing incitement making way for another in Honour The Fallen, a similarly structured and creatively shaped rabidity of emotions and sound. In contrast, it is the imaginative ebbs in the fury that impresses most, they coming in varying stages and designs with Athenas Word never getting indulgent or relinquishing its carnivorous and uncompromising intimidation. More of a grower than instant success compared to the first two songs, it blossoms into another rich persuasion to help the EP get emotions and anticipation of future endeavours excited.
Lasting Legacy is brought to a close by This Is How It Ends, another roar of rock ‘n’ roll and post hardcore intrusiveness that grows into its full temptation over numerous plays. It never quite matches its companions in strength, it missing a certain spark of imagination yet leaves satisfaction healthy and enjoyment for the whole sonic tempest of the EP full.
It is going to be interesting to see how Athenas Word develops, and no doubt be highly enjoyable at the same time, but they could not have got off to a stronger and more persuasive start than with Lasting Legacy.
The Lasting Legacy EP is out now @ http://athenasword.bigcartel.com/
Pete Ringmaster 28/10/2015
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