Path Of Least Resistance is the debut EP from Scottish metallers Somaesthesia, an outfit gut instincts get a feeling for and suggest big things from ahead. Their first release is no lightweight pleaser either, a proposition which though not always hitting the spot dead centre has attention hooked and enjoyment firmly chained.
The Edinburgh quintet draws on inspirations from the likes of Gojira, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, and Mastodon for their intimidatingly burly and voracious sound. It is a maelstrom of raw technical and post metal with progressive, doom, and groove metal tendencies; a trespass which is unpredictable and magnetic, sometimes wayward and persistently a challenge inspiring a keen appetite to hear more.
Recorded at Wall of Sound Recording Studio, Edinburgh by Stu Gordon and mastered by James Plotkin, the EP tests and examines the senses from its first breath with opener Somaesthesia. Instantly riffs are scouring the senses as rhythms jab with uncompromising intent, an immovable air shared by Stuart Hall’s bearish vocals which soon devour ears. It is a thickly persuasive introduction, the guitars of Marc Carey and Mike Cook conspiring in ferocity and invention to spin a web of sonic trespass and enticing enterprise. The song’s infectious low slung swing is equally tempting before things expand in a tapestry of progressive imagination. It is an adventurous evolution within the still barbarous attack which eventually takes over the landscape with melodic grace. Admittedly, the song does not always hold personal tastes as firmly as it does at its beginning and conclusion but it never loses its intrigue, only increasing its hold with every listen.
The following Face of Glass has little problem finding the personal sweet spot, the song from its initial melodic beauty brewing a thrilling antagonistic resourcefulness in stabbing riffs and the rhythmic bait of bassist Stuart Bendiks and drummer Nick Stanfield. Vocally too, Hall continues to smother the senses in his ursine gnarled embrace, finding even greater tenacity in the track’s rousing chorus within a cradle of wiry grooves. The song is superb; reason enough to dive into the release and, as its predecessor, only growing in stature and persuasive bullying as each listen unveils fresher textures and depths.
The EP’s title track makes a less intensive imposition, cleaner vocals and evocative melodies bringing its increasingly volatile body into view. It is an engaging welcome repeated again within the more exacting heart and blaze of the song. There is no inch given by the hefty beats and the brooding roam of the bass, riffs too sowing a carnivorous identity but all tempered by the atmospheric and poetic design of acidic melodies and visceral grooves. As the first track, it does not always keep its presence or the fire for it burning as brightly but certainly never relinquishes its adamant enticement.
Surge has that more lusty involvement back, its dogged rhythms and nagging riffs pure infection yet still eclipsed by the earthy vocal growl leading to and driving another mouth-watering incitement of a chorus. Unsparing of aggression and aural irritability, the track weaves its own creative adventure which whilst not always a fluid adventure leaves greed in enjoyment before Stasis brings it all to a ruggedly fine, meticulously enterprising close. The carnal twang of Bendiks bass is manna to the ears, rich bait matched by the fondling tendrils and melodic espionage webbing the senses from Carey and Cook. Subsequent melody nurtured calm follows and only accentuates the primitive beauty of the initial ravishment, capturing the imagination with its own oasis of suggestion before the doom laden shadows and animosity returns.
The song has ears and imagination bound to its mercurial drama, completing a trio of real highlights within Path of Least Resistance potently backed by their companions. The EP is a strong and increasingly impressing introduction to Somaesthesia, rich in a potential conspiring with powerful sounds to tempt those thoughts of a very healthy future for the band.
Path of Least Resistance is available now through Infinite Hive Music @ https://somaesthesia.bandcamp.com/releases and other online stores.
Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017
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