Forged in 2013, London Tech-Metal influenced Alternative Metallers Derange have been working away on their sound over the last 6 years to create what they call “Sassrock”. Vocalist Cat Pereira, drummer Joe Farrell and bassist Joe MacPherson are accompanied by guitarist duo Nick Crosby and Justas Brazdziuas love a music video too and often look to video games and cinema for influences seen in singles “Runaway” and “Divide”. A Tech-Fest after party slot in August and a run with Valis Ablaze have been amongst this year’s highlights so with the aforementioned singles being released in October 2018 and April 2019 respectively it’s now it’s time for the long awaited and highly anticipated new EP to appear.
Complete with horror themed music video “Runaway” was last Halloween’s *ahem* runaway success with 4.5k streams on YouTube and an impressive better part of 21k steams on Spotify. The track itself cuts an interesting mix between Mathcore polyrhythmic infused guitars that hint at TheDillinger Escape Plan influences as well as some funky bass tones and a solo that oozes class. Pereira’s vocals are bold, bright and addictively sing-a-longable while a melodic break accompanied by a bit of programming showcases some Progressive meanderings. After the bass heavy opening verse of “Higher”, Pereira produces some throat shredding unclean savagery that you might not have expected after the opening song but the key is that it’s an addition rather than the main vocal. Instead she uses the track to showcase her vocal range with another addictive big chorus amid some hook laiden riffs. The song is littered with nuances that bleed out over multiple listens with some DJent riffs at the back end being a fine example.
Further Progressive Tech-Metal sounds are evident in the beautiful “Human” that continues the flow of the EP with a fine ebb and flow. Swirling moods build up to some DJent infused breakdowns and unclean vocal lines without breaking the atmospheric with supreme musicianship. Second big single “Divide” hit 30k streams in 6 months on YouTube thanks to a seriously impressive video to accompany a big track. A DJent groove underpinning in a beautiful sing-a-long chorus in a song about a broken relationship is a masterful moment but it’s the brutal unclean verse that is the most astonishing part. The pacing and energy of “Senses Part One” is on the higher side but “Zero” is the fast(er) one in the selection box of Hotel Chocolat quality tracks. Again, Pereira uses her unclean vocal lines to add a weight and gravity to the material to great effect, it’s the highlighter pen on lines in a diary of lyrics if you will. A passionately delivered affair, its construction is forged in fire with drive and determination. An ambient break from the Tech included riffs for a fine solo before breaking back to pre-chorus of unclean vocals is another brilliant moment. Watch this space, Derange are going places [8/10]