Seasons Collide – Horizons

Seasons Collide is a melodic metalcore band…not another I hear you cry…but there is something different about this quintet from the UK to easily set them apart from other emerging similarly fuelled groups. There undoubtedly have been some great examples of the genre introducing themselves this year but it is hard to remember any as accomplished, rounded, and sure of imagination than Seasons Collide. Their debut EP Horizons is a monster of a release which only impresses on every level. For sure it still indicates further promise within the band to be explored and still areas to move forward, but for a first release it is something quite special and thrilling.

The band formed in early 2011 when guitarists/vocalists Adam Clarke and Josh Gernon, bassist Dan Lawley and drummer Nathan Engel, all ex-Fooled By Chance members, began working with former State of the Enemy frontman Joshua Buckland. As they began working on songs there was a chemistry which grew and flourished and turned into great songs which went on to become the Horizons EP. During recording Buckland left ‘to focus on other things in his life’ and was swiftly replaced by Liam “Leemo” Carmichael, formerly of Faint Young Sun and BiPoLaR Disposition. What has emerged from it all is a release which hits aggressively and forcibly but with fine craft and inspired imagination to perpetually intrigue and satisfy. The band has been called the UK answer to the likes of Killswitch Engage and Periphery, whether that is fair yet is arguable but certainly those influences vein the blend of metal the band creates from genres such as metalcore, hardcore, and djent. It is a stirring and impressive sound brought with skill, style, and plenty of invention.

The Essex band opens up the release with the title track and instantly engages the ear with coarse vocals and striking riffs. Into its pace with the rhythms bustling the senses, twin clean vocals duet with the squalling growls to great effect. The whole release shows the band have this aspect spot on. Many metalcore bands either offer clean vocals too sappy for the intensity or harsh deliveries which unbalance the whole thing but Seasons Collide have it perfect, the union seamless and organic. To be honest the opener is the least successful, but still impressive, in that area and overall on the EP but still easily marks the band out from the rest. Musically the song is a well designed and fluid stroll through firm beats, surging guitar play, and a very agreeable breakdown. It is a strong start but less dramatic and impactful than the rest of the release.

The following Tides Of Change initially immerses the ear in acidic sonic enterprise before rifling them through them with djent triggered riffs and rhythms. It is not long before the track is challenging the senses with sharp crystalline melodies and abrasive energies to light up the passions. In its four minutes or so there is so much going on but never to the point of burdening the ear, everything greedily and gleefully devoured. Again the vocals leave one breathless whilst the sounds around them ignite thoughts and riled energy.

The Long Road Home is the highlight of the release, its tempest of classic metal tones, bruising hardcore intensity, and melodic grandeur irresistible. The clean vocals are imperious within the ever shifting sounds and ideas whilst the caustic delivery riles up the rhythms and explosive riffs like a venom driven general. The track shows all its influences in an inspired and wonderfully crafted piece of metal rioting. Alone it shows the quality and vision of the band have already in their songwriting and sound, an ever evolving song which is so natural you never see anything coming.

The release ends with Run For Your Life and Saviour, both tracks a thunderous expanse of combative beauty on the senses. The first conjurors a mix of multi styles and flavours as one inciting and tremendous storm with a melodic eye which is glorious whilst the second is a song dripping in passion and emotive fire, its more even pace and intensity the base for barbed assaults and startling harmonies a within fiery melodic invention. The most experimental of the songs it shows so much more is within the band to be explored.

Horizons is an exciting and mighty beginning for the band. It is fair to say they have yet to find their full identity but already Seasons Collide have stepped to the fore of the brewing mass of metalcore fired bands which are stirring up British metal.

RingMaster 07/10/2012

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We Were Lions: Rebirth EP

Sometimes a  debut comes along which not only fires up the passions right there and then but sows a seed within that this is just a prelude to something very special and important ahead. Always whether that realisation will come to pass only time will tell but certainly with UK band We Were Lions the feeling that their Rebirth EP marks the beginning of a vital addition to rock music within these shores is openly strong. The four track release bristles with a formidable energy forged alongside an expressive heart and a melodic engagement to wither the hardest stares. It also shows a band still in evolution which only goes to reinforce the sense this is the beginning of something important. It can be easy to be impressed by an introduction but it is rarer to be left with a lingering and assured feeling that one could be witnessing the beginning of something special; We Were Lions with their EP are one of those rarities.

The Essex quintet emerged from previous incarnation Faint Young Sun and one can only assume the EP title Rebirth is a reflection in some part to this as well as the emotive theme pervading their songs. Consisting of vocalist Lloyd Coombes, guitarists Dean “Machine” Claydon and Marc Bartholomew, bassist Phil Lamont, and drummer Dan Vinnicombe, the band finds fuel for their creativity in the likes of A Day To Remember, 36 Crazyfists and Brand New, merging it with their own emotional high octane melodic imagination. The result is a release and music which demands attention with an intimidating air before welcoming one into their warm and passionate melodic heart. The blend is irresistible and shows a creativity and touch many new bands do not have at their disposal at first.

The band courts hardcore and post hardcore genres whilst setting up their own territory with their sound. Part anthemic, part senses flattening, and wholly emotively powerful their first release leaves one breathless in the face of impressive invention and superb craft. The fact that as the songs play to the deepest satisfaction you still feel there is so much more to come is almost scary and very exciting.

Rebirth opens up with the immediately infectious Silver Medal, its initial dusty rock riffs a hungry tease not to be denied. The song soon expands with thumping beats and a prowling bass to cower from driving the fine surges of guitar. The excellent vocals of Coombes light up the song and unveil his impressive controlled ability and near mesmeric charm. The song departs with a lingering bruising of the senses to mark how adept the band is at merging the aggressive side of their sound to their technical and melodic ingenuity.

Backseat saunters in next with an impression it has something from the heart to say. Of course it does but not before brewing up a storm of barging riffs and taunting rhythms to achieve control. It then relaxes as the vocals once more captivate the ear but there is no holding back the intensity and consuming raging of the song. The band from then on skilfully switches and twists both aspects into a fluid and outstanding piece of songwriting and realisation. Best song on the EP it alone shows the immense potential still in the band.

The remaining songs End Of The Night and Even Heroes Need Saving continue the impressive creativity with equal eagerness and effect. The first is an evocative rock song which at times has whispers of Thin Lizzy to its expansive riffs whilst igniting thoughts with its strong lyrics and their even better delivery. The closer is a harmonic delight with less aggression than elsewhere but a mutual power thanks to the striking heart borne atmosphere and passion which wraps every note and word. The song shows another side to the band and though not quite as contagious as previous songs on Rebirth it is the most inventive and provocative.

We Were Lions have announced their arrival with not only an EP which triggers only pleasure and enthusiasm but one which sets them up as possibly a band to have a big say on the destiny of UK rock music.  The Rebirth EP can be downloaded for free from the official band website our suggestion is go there right now and hear why we are so enamoured with We Were Lions.

RingMaster 04/07/2012

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