Getting it’s first preview with “Solis” way back in July 2017 via Dreambound, Kent’s alternative hardcore crew Cove were certainly setting the tone for their second EP “A Conscious Motion”. The follow up to their 2016 EP “We Were Once Lost”, which saw them share stages with the likes of Our Hollow, Our Home and Feed The Rhino, the band are very much an established entity within the UK Underground Metal scene.
The EP starts off with the atmospheric gradual build drum patterns of “Coincide:Collide” before a layered guitar and a momentary pause before the main riff kicks in. Atmospheric, dark clean vocals from frontman Ben Shorten before the uncleans add an extra layer to proceedings and is the epitome of how to build a song with a less is more restraint. The quality of the production is apparent from the very start with a clean crisp drum sound from Jack Bowdery. Following on from the tense unease of the opener, Cove dive right into the immediacy of “Solis” with it’s high energy and bounce aiming to get you straight to the pit. Enraged and poignant vocals smash through the riff attack from guitarists Ben Brazier and Pete Woolven before a big chorus designed for a drunken sing-a-long. The closing scream then throws us into “All I Believe”. A powerful introduction is then replaced by buried electronics as clean vocals take centre stage. Raising up into a ripper of a chorus before dropping back to replace the electronics with an ominous bass riff from Charlie Smith, it’s a powerful statement piece, using the quiet to make the loud seem louder.
The EP then takes a breath with “Host” building a wave of atmosphere with a simple guitar chord structure creating an almost ambient sound over space filled drum patterns and a buried sample loop of speech that’s almost impossible to hear – which is entirely the point. It’s a track that some will just approach as a take it or leave it filler or incomplete song but it’s so much more. It demonstrates musicianship and a quality that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the band, while also taking courage to put out on a release like this where time is limited. “Reflect: Resolve” then takes us back to the bands more traditional sound – punchy guitars and a call and response vocal designed to get crowd interaction. A bridge section that uses the atmospheric stylings of previous track “Host” with a clean vocal then builds back into a powerful close. Alternative hardcore is how the band describe themselves but perhaps post-hardcore is more of an appropriate genre tag – not that genre tags mean that much these days. Cove manage to pack a wide variety into this 17 minute affair and by the closing notes you’ll want to give it another whirl – that’s how good it is. [7.5/10]
1. Coincide: Collide
3. All I Believe
5. Reflect: Resolve