Review: “Have Me To Waste” EP by Starve To Survive

Newcastle upon Tyne Nu-Metalcore Groove quintet Starve To Survive have been around the Metal Underground scene for some time now. The success of their debut EP “Life // Loss” released in 2016 and in particular single “Abolition” with a guest appearance from Connor Sweeney of Loathe brought them to the fore front of the scene. So how does it’s follow up stack up?

It may only be 91 seconds but “Tremor” sets things going with a building darkness and growing sense of tension over a single elongated verse that sets the scene for the horror story to unfold. The buried synths from the opener continue to bleed into “Dismal”, a track that features guest vocals from Harry Rule of God Complex fame. The chunky rhythmic poundings of the guitars bing to mind the sound of Lotus Eater without some of the complexity, Starve To Survive preferring to bludgeon. Rule adds a depth to the caustic bark of their main man and it works well in a song about misery. The surprise post-hardcore guitar solo in what is otherwise a punisher of a track is a nice touch. “Back & Forth” shows more vocal range with some gutteral punches added to the bark while the some guitar scratch sounds add a funk to the opening. There are some chugs and bounces during the disgustingly dark grooves and a burst of off kilter eerie atmospheric synth that sounds like it belongs on “The Cold Sun” by Loathe in the latter half of the track.

“Twinge” has a buried electronic layer that bleeds through in the pause break parts of an otherwise Hardcore inspired main riff. Having Connor Sweeney of Loathe in the production chair has helped create a claustrophobic density to the guitar sound of the EP as a whole and the dissonant riffage with the haunting melodic touches of the synths give a real horror film tension to this cut. “Dread” has plenty of complex jarring tinny riffs that smash against each other while the mix gives the rhythmic bassline space and time to shine. Title track “Have Me To Waste” builds tension from the very start with the synth layer bigger in the mix and at times acting like a lead guitar. The guitars themselves punch like a drunk prize fighter. The band have outdone themselves and what should shine bright ends up a bit of a mess. So what we end up with is an EP of material that as a starting point for this kind of hard listen sound works well but with a clutch of bands including sound pioneers Loathe already doing this, Starve To Survive need to find their own nuances and make it more of their own [6.5/10]

“Have Me To Waste” by Starve To Survive is out now

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