Review: “Beast” EP by Elysian Divide

Female fronted Metallers Elysian Divide hail from Bedfordshire and London and comprise vocalist Atshai Tada, guitarist Jon Sick, drummer James Kelly and bassist Tory Michael Wicks. They’re returning for a second throwing of the dice and betting it all on black with what they promise to be Hatred and Loathing expressed with loudness.

The first thing to strike as “Loser” plays out is that Elysian Divide vocalist Atashi Tada’s accented vocals have a similar tone and range to Sumo Cyco frontwoman Sever. That’s where the comparison between the two bands end however as Elysian Divide sonically cross Nu-Metal introspective lyrics with a classic Metal framed Metalcore sound. There are for example a number of riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Soil album but there are also several Trivium esq moments as well. There is plenty of dirge but also some layering which could see the quartet add a second guitarist at some point. “Inspired by Hatred” throws a curve ball with leads over the top of a breakdown pre-chorus that is stylish and slick while it would be easy to mistake the band as coming out of an Eastern Block country with the vocal work. Some impressive leads from Jon Sick showcase his skills while the pacing and energy is well suited to an adrenaline fueled live show. Including the cover of “Street Spirit” by Radiohead in the middle of the EP rather than adding it onto the end avoids it being an afterthought and making it their own by imposing their sound on it works really well. Tada’s vocals are well suited to the cut and if we’re honest she does a better job of the emotive introduction than Thom Yorke did on the original. Changing up some of the tempos and making it a sing-a-long Hard Rock tingled Metal track with some note worthy soloing doesn’t take away from the sentiment of the original at all but makes it their own.

Title track “Beast” starts with a left field “Golden Age of the Grotesque” era Marilyn Manson style riff that changes the atmosphere and brings a playful moment to the table. There are still hints at the sounds of the earlier tracks but vocals aside this could easily be another band. But then that’s what Elysian Divide want to do, create contrast and texture. “Storm” includes some almost Operatic vocals from Tada and points to her having a greater range than she shows on the other tracks. But with it being a nearly 8 minute cut, eclipsing the others by some way, it needed some point of difference to hit home. There are a few elements that suggest some Progressive meanderings might come from the band at some point though there is no style over substance on show here. The elongated fade out and gentle use of synths to add a background warmth is a fine way to let it go [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Loser
  2. Inspired by Hatred
  3. Street Spirit (Radiohead Cover)
  4. Beast
  5. Storm

“Beast” by Elysian Divide will appear on 31st October and is available here

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