Opensight – Ulterior Motives EP

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Described as cinematic metallers, London based Opensight take ears and imagination on a drama laced, mystery fuelled adventure with their new EP Ulterior Motives. A collection of tracks which have thoughts running this way and that like a classic noir lit crime thriller and a weave of sounds which manage to be as intimate as they are expansively suggestive, and at times bordering psychotic, Ulterior Motives is a release which simply has the listener lost to the world within its riveting theatre.

Opensight is the brainchild of Colombian guitarist/vocalist Ivan Amaya, an idea which began in his homeland but realised and evolved further once he moved to the UK. Subsequently the band grew with the addition of guitarist Genia Penksik, drummer Redd Reddington, and bassist Danni Stanner. Originally a more concentrated progressive metal project the band’s sound and imagination has blossomed to embrace a vibrant array of genres and cinematic influences, which going by Ulterior Motives seem to embrace visual inspirations as well as soundtrack seeded ones. Debut album Prosthetic Soul was released in 2008 with the well-received The Voice of Nothing EP following two years later. For many though, us included, Ulterior Motives is the first introduction to Opensight and a meeting long overdue.

OPENSIGHT_Ulterior_Motives_RingMaster Review    The release opens with Alibi and a Nintendo-esque dance of electronic shimmer. It is soon clutched by a web of dramatic rhythms and melodic flaming which in turn spawns a sonic shuffle around the instantly striking tones of Amaya. Barely a handful of seconds in and the song is a creative jungle, hooks and grooves colluding with the darker shadows of bass and the lively attitude of drum beats. Atmospheric colour comes from wistful keys whilst the guitars spin a weave of grooves which understandably seem to incite Bond like references from a great many. We would not go quite that specific in their description but imagine Faith No More crafting the soundtrack to a sixties espionage themed show and you get some idea of the visual potency on the imagination and the intricate yet seemingly simple tapestry of sound seducing ears.

Such the persuasion of the track you are almost crouching in secrecy as you move to its instrumental lure, only stepping into bold clearance as the lyrical narrative returns and leads the song to its ripe end and into the waiting funk kissed arms of The Chase. Whereas the first song also had a feel of artists such as 6:33 and Diablo Swing Orchestra to it, its successor takes a more dramatically intensive turn nearer to a mix of Voyager and Native Construct, with at times a whiff of Between the Buried and Me. There is an adrenaline rush and urgency to the track which matches the hinting of its title, whilst seventies flavoured electronic bubbling only adds mystique and flirtatious intrigue to the whole exploration.

Vanishing Point explores more rugged scenery initially, subsequently settling into a sultry climate and evocative persuasion with crescendos of intensity and emotion. Vocally the song is a bit mixed, Amaya’s slow vocal walk not as powerful and impressive as his lung busting roars or anthemic incitements but it does not defuse the fiery blaze of sound and enterprise rippling through the song. All the same, the thoroughly enjoyable and captivating track does not quite spark ears and thoughts as successfully as the songs around it, especially the outstanding Ulterior Motif right after.

The track is a symphony of aural colour and imagination seducing tempting. A first slow caress blooms into a soundscape of exotic beauty and sinister shadows, a canvas inspiring new adventures with every listen and if any track was evidence of the band’s talent at cinematic songwriting alone it is this glorious flight of craft and suggestion.

The EP is finished by Antagonist, an emotional and physical cliff hanger of a finale driven by creatively imposing rhythms, fascinating sonic invention, and a vocal delivery which is part the story teller part the protagonist in it all. With smouldering beauty and jazzy elegance reminiscent of The Chase earlier, the song drifts and erupts with bewitching craft and ingenuity. Sometimes it feels like a celestial flight into the unknown and the broadest emprise and in other moments a close romance wrapped in personal mystique and earthbound theatre; and at all times slavery for body and mind.

It frustrates that it has taken to now to discover the band but better late than never as we suggest all think about immersing into the dark and enthralling world of Opensight.

The Ulterior Motives EP is available from September 4th

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2015

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