Review: “Self Titled” EP by Absalom

Manchester Metalcore infused Tech-Metal 5 piece Absalom comprise of drummer Olley Holgate, bassist Alex Papaioannou, vocalist Adam Oat and 8 string merchants Stephen Brown and James Phillips. Interestingly they boast that they have progressive leanings and state their influences as being Architects, August Burns Red and…. Bring Me The Horizon.

Introduction instrumental “Dusk” is a nice atmospheric piece that shows off those Progressive Tech-Metal leanings with some uplifting spiritual guitar work that builds into a classic Tech groove before being overlayed by a Metalcore lead flourish. First track proper “Solstice” wastes no time with an introduction, the vocals appearing just seconds after the start. That August Burns Red influence shines through as battering ram after battering ram of pummelling rhythm riff is overlayed by the leaf flourishes that they have brought to the table in recent releases. It’s full throttle from the start with only a short ambient break for a surprise clean vocal line from Ost before things get back to business again. There is a slight disconnect in places between the drums and guitar work, something not quite right in the mix or mastering that gives it a polished demo sound. That slight lack of finesse adds to the EPs charm, there are a number of albums that suffer from over polishing in the mix to their detriment and here it works.

Another track that wastes no time is “Eclipse”. Taking all the finest elements of the modern Metalcore sound into their guitar work, this one has the energy but also that instant feel to it with some solid headbanging moments from the very start. The clean vocals improve as the track goes on, they seem a little rushed in getting the words in for the tempo of the music but by the end, they’re spot on. The epic solo work is an absolute joy and the underpinning synths add a background ambience without being overpowering. The second Instrumental on the EP is “Dawn”. Its an atmosphere builder in every sense, gradually infusing some progressive guitars with an ambient backdrop and programmed drum work to create an uplifting and meandering piece of music that keeps the vibe of the EP as a whole. It serves as an introduction to the bands music video single “Zenith”. It’s a song which keeps those ambient electronic elements but uses a driven bassline to pushing things along with a fine energy. There are hints at the kind of atmospheric that more progressive bands achieve but they also manage to harness the power and energy of the Metalcore infused Tech-Metal at the same time and the combination is what creates their own distinct sound. There is so much more to Absalom than meets the eye and with each repeated listen, something new nuances out of the mix. A riff that you’d not heard before or not taken in, a background sound that you’d not noticed or a drum fill that has greater impact. This needs to be heard [8/10]

Tracklisting;

1. “Dusk”
2. “Solstice”
3. “Eclipse”
4.  “Dawn”
5. “Zenith”

“Self Titled” EP by Absalom is out now and available on Spotify.

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