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.
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