Review: “Dancing With Fear” EP by Miscreant

Carcer City paved the way for bands from the UK to sign for Stay Sick Recordings with their incredible “Infinite Unknown” and following that path have been York Deathcore crew InVisions with their sophomore album “Between You And Me“. So it’s the turn of Nottingham quartet Miscreant to take that leap of faith with the American label for their latest offering “Dancing With Fear“. This offering is also a sophomore EP, the follow up to 2016’s “Living Death” which landed a number #4 spot on the iTunes Metal Charts back then and the music video for “Nightmares” racking up 12k YouTube views.

The track titles speak of introspective lyrics of inner demons which follow the theme of the EP title making it a concept of sorts and when the off kilter unease of the opening bars of “Out Of Place” start there is a sense of panic and nausea, of cinematic pre-horror and night terrors. A stuccato riff plays out in Gloom style with pulverising polyrhythmic Tech-Metal smatterings and dark intent. There are hints at the influence of Loathe but Miscreant have their own darkness. Guitar work judders an lurches between sections held together by the swirling vocals by the time it closes you’re left wondering exactly what you heard. It’s a floor filler. “Agony” starts out quite the opposite, higher pitched clean effeminate vocals with lyrics of mental anguish lead in the first verse of slower building and swirling dark moods before the slow crush of the mid section kicks in. It may not have the pace and energy of the opening track but it makes up for it with the dark brooding atmosphere and a sickening tension you could cut with a knife.

Killing Me” continues the cathartic writings with a powerful sentiment and a DJent groove infusing the mid section that takes a leaf out of the book of Emmure. The vocals aren’t geo locatable and you could easily think that Miscreant are a US band if you didn’t know otherwise from their social media. “I believe, I believe in hate” is the dark whisper and the pain of the lyrics is perfectly mounted in the frame of the dark musical onslaught. “Sickness” continues to pick at the threads of the other material with a bass heavy DJent Gloom groove with programmed atmospheric breaks that create unease with a sound that sits between Loathe and Lotus Eater with punches well above its weight in a bare knuckle fist fight. Overall, “Dancing With Fear” is a continuation and refinement of “Living Death” with darker atmospheres a vicious intensity and the songs from both releases are going to sit well side by side in the live arena [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Out Of Place
  2. Agony
  3. Killing Me
  4. Sickness

Dancing With Fear” by Miscreant is out now via Stay Sick Recordings

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