The initial idea for the band that would become Melbourne Australian natives Dweller was formed in the minds of Rory Bond (Guitars) and Ryan Mickan (Vocals) around a decade ago. But as it does, life got in the way until 2018 when the pair began recording parts together. Bassist Matt Manders was in the fold at that point before a chance reunion with Andy Holt (Guitars) at a Polaris show got him involved. Drummer Daniel Mcgorum was last to board the ship but doesn’t appear on “White Rabbit“. The drums are instead handled by Earth Caller sticksman Josh Clinch with the exception of “Nadir” which were performed by Beau Mckee (Void Of Vision, Dream On Dreamer), who recorded and produced the EP before it was handed over to Jeff Dunne (Wage War, Crystal Lake, Chelsea Grin) for mixing and mastering.
The bounce filled Progressive Metalcore riffs of “It Lives, It Breathes” have that staccato punch from the rhythm part while having that bright melody from the leads and if it wasn’t for the raw and energetic performance of Mickan you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to Polaris. The vocals have a Hardcore Punk edge with lyrics and moments inspired by the likes of Norma Jean and Underoath. Meaty riffs hold up “Ravenous” which also has a final third melodic break, each riff overlayed by a technical lead part. Dweller are furiously angry and while Mickan spits venom throughout this cut, they manage to pull it back for a gang chant moment that should be an old school hand clap moment live. “Devil You Know” has flavours of Americans Currents while incorporating a sing-a-long moment that you’ll have to get your timing spot on for due to the ferocity of the high octane delivery. There is nothing slow about “White Rabbit” and it seems that the natural pace of Dweller material is that you would normally expect from a Hardcore Punk record, though it has to be said that the closing breakdown on this one hits harder than a concrete slab. “Vicious Cycles” has a bass heavy drive and Mickan shows greater vocal range with some odd time signature riffs in a mix that is reminiscent of pre-“Alien” era Northlane, a does closer “Nadir“. The change at the drum stool is barely noticeable with the kit configuration being kept audibly similar. The riffs reach DJent heights in places but the lyrical theme is what helps tie everything together neatly. Each song is emotionally driven, raw and chaotic with attitude [8/10]