By now you might have heard a lot about a release from a certain young lady that is leaving scorch marks in its wake as more enthusiastic ears and views discover it. If not it is only a matter of time before the Evolution EP from The Commander-In-Chief has you stalled in your tracks, grinning deliriously, and drooling eagerly from shredding of the highest order. From the off the four track release grabs the ear with a tight metal grip demanding attention and respect but before long the full impact of the musicianship and power within, as one delves deeper floods through from an EP which is deeply impressive.
The Commander-In-Chief is a 22 year old Norwegian lady and one of the most impressive emerging artists to badger and implore the ear for attention in a long while. She does not just ask and demand but backs up her request with skills and creativity that many others long for after decades as a musician. Singer, songwriter and a thoroughly mesmeric exponent of her 7 string guitar, Evolution is a dramatic and vibrant release that opens up metal to many opportunities and choices. Already from the evidence on the EP she is stretching boundaries and supposed limitations but for the future she offers nothing less than staggering possibilities and a definite anticipation for much more from her.
Evolution is produced by the legendary and highly acclaimed Sterling Winfield (Pantera, Hatebreed, Hellyeah). It has a raw feel which really adds to the powerful honest musicianship and sound within the quartet of striking songs. Devoid of any trickery and added falseness the release feels as clean and genuine as it does forceful and combative, The Commander playing and singing every guitar and vocal note unaided, maybe something other artists should note.
Joined by drummer Jason Bowld and bassist Andy Saxton, The Commander flexes musical muscles whilst spurting forth a fiery flare on each and every song. The explosive and sarcastic Thou is a prime example, its intimidating riffs and driving guitar not interested in mercy as it exploits and intrudes upon the ear. With the great melodic touches and finely crafted flowing combination of intense power and engaging invention the song, as is the whole EP, is an unpredictable pleasure. With graceful vocal harmonies contrasting her moments of soaring scorched high notes which at times touch her limits there is a wonderful blend of extremes which play naturally side by side. Once you add the ability and creativity of her playing to the vision and power, this and each song venture into the area of groundbreaking with ease.
Famous and Evolution are equally as impressive if not more so. The first dealing with celebrities and reality TV is a musical look down the nose at more falsehoods. The anthemic tone and badgering riffs within an easy accessible pleasure for the ear evoking attitude, energy, and the will to join the commentary in voice and aggression. The latter of the two is the best on the release, the title track rampaging with urgent riffs that scamper through the ear with enthused energy and devilment. Inspired by the scientist who invented lobotomy and the Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein, the track is a full blooded and dark indictment on science and man. Showing the diversity of her sound, Evolution offers rock essences wrapped in aggressive metal craft. The song plays in the head long after it leaves its last rippling note, a classic song sure to bring The Commander to the masses.
The EP is completed by Let It Go, a song that The Commander wrote for her younger brother and dedicated to those who have suffered bullying or depression. It is a strong power ballad seeping emotion and passion in every note and word. It is nicely balanced and though it does not hit with the same intensity as elsewhere it is as effective with its well formed and balanced ideas and sounds.
Offering riffs that ignite the heart and melodies to enthuse the senses, The Commander-In-Chief makes metal that is eagerly digestible yet thoughtful and inspiring, not to forget stunningly skilful. This is just her debut EP, imagine what lies ahead, the wait is going to be unbridled anticipation.