Beginning to feel like a period of long awaited returns, October sees UK tech-metallers The Arusha Accord releasing their first record in seven years in the fury spewing shape of the Juracan EP. Offering five ravenous almost rabid but skilfully conjured and complex encounters, the release is not only the Reading hailing outfit back and to their best but with a fresh breath in sound and imagination.
The first of four planned EPs, Juracan has come out of a turbulent time for the band; its title an echo of that tempestuousness and coming from the phonetic name given by Spanish colonizers to the deity of chaos and disorder which Taíno natives believed controlled the weather, particularly hurricanes. The Arusha Accord actually returned to action as headliners at UK Tech Fest 2017 but things were derailed by vocalist Alex Green and subsequently guitarist Tom Hollings leaving the band. Taking time out to take stock, the band decided to go forth with Juracan as a quartet, Paul Green stepping up to handle solo vocal duties alongside bassist Luke Williams, guitarist James Clayton, and drummer Mark Vincent.
What has emerged is a release which certainly bears but embraces the difficulties endured. There is a fire in its belly and irritancy in its breath which only enhances both its raw almost rebellious roar and melodic imagination. Recorded with Adam Getgood and mastered by Prash Mistry, the EP springs from dark clouds and a melancholic climate with Blackened Heart, the track surging through ears with caustic intensity wrapped in melodic enticement. It swiftly consumes and violates the senses yet all the while its creative swing and instinctive virulence is working away on song and listener. The recognised technical prowess of the band is as quickly tempting and escalating the magnetic appeal equally racing through the track, unpredictability lighting its evolving landscape as Green similarly shows his strength and prowess as sole frontman.
The track leaves a rich and impressive mark on ears and memory before being matched in inventive kind by Vultures. As with its predecessor, there is instinctive aggression driving its escapade but also an almost Celtic metal seeded flavouring which emerges through the enterprise of Clayton. A collusion of extremes which at times is a skilfully nurtured collision, the raucously rousing yet seductively manipulative track, again as the first, is pure magnetism.
From a sonic mist The Road (Amor Vincit Omnia – Part 1) rises upon a deliciously dirty bassline accompanied by the continuing raw glaze of keys. As its tempestuousness stirs, Greens fine clean vocals only escalate the lure and potency of the outstanding start to the track and a captivation only growing as things mellow out before Beneath The Dule Tree shares its sonic winds and melodic fire. As powerful and stirring as it is, the track epitomised by its fadeout feels like it is part of a bigger but disconnected picture. For that reason it did not quite find the same level of potency with personal thoughts yet everything about the track left a want for more which EP closer, The Dark Pane, eagerly satisfied. It rhythmic barrage is purposeful and invasive but the spine to another infectious trespass bound in alluring sonic wires and suggestive melodic tendrils, all amidst an alignment of the tempestuous and harmonious.
Talking about the EP, Green has said “Despite the knock backs we have had and there have been a whole bunch this past year, we’re the strongest we’ve ever been, more unified and passionate about this project and excited to finish the next three EPs!” There is little we can argue against his claims but only add we are excited to hear the next trio of encounters.
At The RR we try to bring you the most exciting, unique, and adventurous releases around, Juracan ticks all the boxes and more.
Juracan is out now @ https://www.arushaaccord.com/shop/
Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018
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