Having already teased acclaim and attention with their debut EP a couple of years back, UK metallers Arkdown give them a real shove with its successor, The Calling. Unleashing five uncompromising, seriously predacious cuts of metalcore seeded hostility as stylish as they are rabid the new EP is the declaration of a band ready to take on all comers.
Cast in the steel of their hometown Sheffield hailing Arkdown has been on a steady ascent through the British metal ranks since emerging in 2015. The well received EP, Path, lit up the underground metal scene with its 2016 release whilst live the band’s reputation has only risen as alongside their own shows they have shared stages with the likes of Fit for an Autopsy, Oceans Ate Alaska, Martyr Defiled, Kingdom of Giants, A Night in Texas, and Shields. The Calling is their next bold and impressive step and challenge to the higher echelons of the British metal frontline and further afield.
Though metalcore based, the Arkdown sound is a rich union of flavours, death and melodic metal colluding with rapacious grooves and merciless aggression across that instinctive bed. It makes for tracks which even as they directly assault equally fester in the imagination all twisting and turning with imaginative adventure as quickly shown by EP opener, Wake Up. The initial calm of its intro is soon squashed under the following weight of riffs and rhythms from which vocalist Kyle Dawson enticingly scowls and the guitars of Mike Dyson and Mike Walker spin senses ensnaring webs of antipathy wired with fine melodic thread. Swiftly a diversity of sound and vocal attack mingle in the outstanding trespass leaving ears ringing and pleasure greedily rising.
The following It Calls Me instantly wraps the listener in spirals of contagiously intrusive grooving, the swinging beats of Alex Roberts taking skilled pot shots as again the throat raw variety coated assault of Dawson erupt in animosity and magnetism. With the eager yet brooding basslines of Ed Morley as potent as the invasive enterprise of the guitars, the track grabs best track honours as it further ignited the passions before Mirrors embraces the senses in its own infectious guitar wiring as winds of discontent and dark reflection ravage. As its predecessors, the track is a captivating roar of craft and enterprise built on an array of individual agility and as those before, another mighty reason to devour the Arkdown sound.
The closing pair of Five Years and Falling brings the EP to a rousing close. The first is a sonic wrath within a cauldron of melodic intensity, uncaging grooves and sonic rancor with an intrusive yet deft hand whilst its successor while being the calmest moment within The Calling, indeed a haunting seduction of imagination, it is also a tempest of conflict and venomous ideation as mercurial and volatile as it is tantalising.
Giving five tracks which increasingly fascinate as they corrode the senses, The Calling is a striking and increasingly irresistible encounter from a band surely poised to stir up real fuss with their dynamic, dramatic and deviously compelling sound.
The Calling is out Friday 2nd November.
Pete RingMaster 31/10/2018
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