We have been receiving a lot of new releases from both France and Italy in the past few months and both countries are currently producing some brilliant music and have some cracking rock and metal scenes going on. Italy appears to have more of traditional metal / rock resurgence currently and its producing some great bands. Interestingly France on the other hand seems to be in a particularly creative period with a lot of new music reaching us from those shores being a lot more experimental in nature or a little bit more extreme with an interesting twist. Again, it’s a great scene producing some top class bands. Except One are no exception to this rule at least. As soon as I heard this, their second EP, I was instantly smitten with the sound and world that they have created. Sometimes I think it can be hard to identify exactly why one band appeals to you over another (especially if like here at Moshville Times HQ we get a lot of new releases on a daily basis) but throughout this EP review I will try and explain why Except One are a new band worth taking your time to seek out.
We actually know little of Except One, other than this is their second EP, they are French and describe themselves rather delightfully as “flowers, birds and children… all thrown in the blender!” Sound wise they are a mix of sounds but the atmosphere they create is full on, dark but somehow inventive and fun at the same time. There are elements of black metal, industrial, thrash, a bit of something for everyone.
Right from the introduction to opening track “Rise” I was drawn into the Expect One world. “Rise” opens with a spoken word call to stop the new world order before bursting into the singing which is intense and ferocious, more like a growl or bark but mirrored to the choppy and atmospheric guitars it works very well. There’s a rhythm and pace that Expect One manage to create throughout this EP, that at times reminds you of Faith No More. Cracking opener to the EP.
Second track “Lost” does not allow you to pause for breath either. It starts with a primal scream and instantly we are introduced to their pain and sickness of mind. Musically the introduction is great, there is a guitar riff lying underneath that creates an ambience that is what make Except One special to me. If you can make a song about your daily suffering sound exciting and catchy then you are probably doing something right. Again I love the pace and the use of the way they change that rhythm and pace to great effect throughout. The variety within the song is what makes it, the lightly sung middle bridge for example just makes you pay attention before the full fury of the band is unleashed again.
In tracks like “Revenge” we get a further insight into the band and the anger that is oozing through the music and the vocal delivery is also felt within the lyrical content. This EP in many ways is a warning for the future about what could be if we don’t open our eyes and look around at the world around us instead of being so insular. One thing that interests me a lot recently is the message that metal bands in particular bring and is often ignored. Final song “7even” may have a slight nod towards the film but again the band have something to say about the crassness of humanity. This is a slower and more atmospheric track in its opening, kinda AFI before the vocals really kick in but if anything this track reminds me of them a lot. It’s a great EP closer, and could have easily have been the lead song on the EP.
Any band that is going to write a song called “Elm Street” and incorporate the Freddy nursery rhyme into the opening is going to get my vote. This isn’t the sweetness and light version you may know from the films though, instead it’s a clearly sung but drawn out version. This is a song that increases in its intensity as it progresses.
Haunted Humanity turns out to be a very apt title for this EP as Except One are able to portray the rage they clearly feel for the way the world is going and mirror this with a brilliant and haunted atmosphere. This is an EP which is going to question your position in the world and how you react to what is going on around you but it is also in its own right a whirlwind of energy, riffs, inventiveness and just great metal. Loved this EP and it is just another example of how lucky I feel so far in 2016 with the quality of the releases we are being sent. Who said metal was dead?