Hailing from Long Island New York are a quintet known as Prey Upon. Their line-up consists of Drummer Charlie Mule, Bassist (and EP Producer) Andrew Rizzo, Vocalist Reid Erickson, alongside Guitarist duo Brian Schurr & Mike Joseph (who also provides backing vocals). Dropping in January, their debut EP “Orias” also features additional guitars and drums by Rob Brownrigg and Billy Anderson.
Starting with the longest track on the EP at just 4 minutes and 22 seconds, “Deceiver” has a rough and raw quality to it while sounding like early TheAgony Scene with climbing leads swirling around bouncy chugging riffage. Vocally, there is plenty of bite and variety even without any cleans from Reid Erickson, who from the opening roar, delivers a powerful, wet vocal. There is a distinct bark-bark-bark-roar vocal approach on this one that suits the pummelling nature of the music perfectly. The slowed down final breakdown section is also a nice touch, allowing the intro for the next song some breathing space. “Black Society” brings a cleaner (note, that’s cleaner, not clean) vocal with a barked delivery in places that gives more clarity on the deep and socially aware lyricism, but is in no way less ferocious. Tight, focused rhythm changes give a distinct movement and signature to the bands sound that is constantly driving, however the closing guitar solo part makes the raw quality of the recording more apparent. Indeed, it may be a one-taker, warts and all moment. “Resurrect” is a more driven tune with a undercurrent of dark loathing and menace with some almost tribal kit work from Prey Upon’s impressive sticksman Charlie Mule. The bass is bigger in the mix on this one and the leads are brighter, giving the whole song a much more vibrant feel.
“Washed Ashore” pushed the vocals harder with some throat shredding parts that in places sounds like they belong in a heavier band. Those almost tribal elements in the kit work return alongside some lead guitar work that sounds very much like it could have been done in one take. If someone said the song had been recorded live in the studio, full band, with only the vocals separated out, then it could easily be the case. There is a cohesion between the timings and a tightness to the playing that reflects a live sound. “Leech” has a bit of the early Slipknot about it with an unexpected speech sample and some soaring lead guitar passages between some equally crushing breakdowns. There is no doubting the quality of the musicianship in Prey Upon. The only things that are lacking in this EP is a bit of polish in the production, mix and mastering to get it to the next level. As a raw, high quality demo, “Orias” is right up there in terms of sound and style. Any self respecting A&R person, should be able to see past some of the rougher edges to the ample qualities that lay within [7/10]
“Orias” by Prey Upon is available over at Bandcamp.