Amongst The Survivors – Self Titled EP

My learned gig buddy Bill obtained a copy of this EP a while ago, so it's with relief – and to a degree embarrassment - that I'm finally writing this review! Four tracks at a shade over sixteen and a half minutes, with Ajeet Gill's masterful production, has to be a winner surely?

Things start off promisingly enough. “Bleed Like An Angel” starts with a hardcore swagger, blast beating coupled with acid gargling vocals, before a technical off-kilter riff precedes an enormous breakdown. All in all a brutal and purposeful opener. “Push” has a more menacing start from the melodic death metal school but loses its way a little mid song; ends well though with a contrasting slower bridge breaking things up nicely, before the mayhem returns. “Know Who You Are” has a cracking lead off riff which will slay live if they get the guitar tone right, and combines discordance with controlled aggression impressively. “Newborn Tyranny” concludes matters in a fast thrasher kind of way, before a more intricate closing section. So plenty of positives...

In summary, Amongst The Survivors display various styles of extreme metal on this CD, ranging from hardcore, modern prog, technical death metal, with occasional smatterings of doom and, to a degree, black metal – and they're all handled well. Ajeet's trademark knob-twiddling (ooh matron!) aids things considerably, and the musicians and vocalist are all up to the task...

…. now the negatives. Despite writing great riffs and all the songs starting well, I felt they lacked a little punchiness and could have done with a few more hooks to make them more easily identifiable. The songs start well, but they seem to run out of momentum, and the final third of most tracks drags somewhat. Lastly, I'd re-record the clean vocal section in “Newborn Tyranny” - it sits really uncomfortably in the overall dynamics of the song, and indeed, EP.

All in all this is a more than competent and entertaining release which bodes well for the future. I'm sure the songs will come into their own with the extra oomph that a live performance brings. Hopefully I'll find out soon enough?! I'll see you at the Actress & Bishop if not before fellas!


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