Gravitas is a tricky EP to categorise. It’s fast, but it’s not thrash. It’s throaty, but it’s not death. It’s got sneaky rhythm changes, but it’s not post-something. It’s pounding, but it’s not hardcore.
In fact, it’s all of these things. And more. It is undeniably heavy and unforgiving. Metal Archives categorises them as melodic thrash, another sub-genre I’d not heard of but it makes some kind of sense.
Four tracks to follow on from 2013’s Five album, this is a very easy bunch of songs to get into regardless of your genre of preference.
Dale Butler’s vocals range from screams to a more throaty evil tone and are as much a part of the music as they are actual words. On occasion he launches into a more traditional singing voice for the melodic breaks. It’s seriously impressive to hear such a range from one person.
The twin guitars of Wilson and Symons intertwine perfectly, and this is shown off to particular effect with the likes of “Escape” which has a beautiful melodic riff around the heavier one in the last half.
Bassist Thomas Hynes and new addition James Cook on drums keep the rhythm and promote serious head pounding throughout proceedings.
Opener “Foraken” is indicative of what to expect. Heavy-hitting, crushing rhythms and more of a hardcore tune than anything else accompanied by orders to “Bow down – obey” from the mouth of Butler.
“Heroes” is more varied in its approach with a mixture of heavier vocals and guitars with melodic sections, including the kind of chorus that will have fists in the air and voices raised from the crowd.
The third track, “Escape”, as I mentioned has some brilliant guitar work especially in the last half and is another song which blends heavier segments with more melodic parts.
The EP ends with “My Design”, a particularly dark-sounding head-banger of a track and probably the heaviest on here, yet still including some soaring vocal segments.
Overall, this is a strong release and hopefully just a stocking filler until the next full album from this crew. It’s released on November 3rd, but in the meantime you can check out “Foraken” below.