As idle hands are the devil’s workshop, like so many that came before it what began as a lockdown bedroom project idea between guitarists Phil Vernon and Bono in the age of great plague went from ember to raging inferno and after recruiting bassist Rob Collier, drummer Ryan Westwood and vocalist Ed Garrood-Gibbs Copse was born in Bristol. The songs they refined together became their debut record “Mara | Mondrem“, produced, mixed and mastered by Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul, The Elijah, Blood Youth) at Bandit Studios…
Following in the footsteps of bands like The Hope Burden what Copse have created a distinctly Post Black Metal affair that embraces Post Hardcore with moments of Blackgaze. Hearing Ed Garrood-Gibbs from Devil Sold His Soul screaming with despair during the opening lines of “Mara” and sounding surprisingly rejuvenated over the soaring meloncholia of the guitars is darkly captivating, as if the clock has been rewound to his earlier youth. His attraction to the project speaks volumes about the qualities of what he heard when the first demos were shared. Westwood deserves a lot of credit for his relentless energy and dedication to the cause, his blasting and tasteful fills not only executed to perfection enthralling, helping to drive these songs forward and avoid them falling into the mundane and drawn out, despite their extended durations, in the same way that Scandinavian Black Metal often does. As outstanding as the incredible kit work is, it is the guitars which win the day, soaring in perfect balance between Black Metal and Post Hardcore, avoiding jagged edges and instead embracing the glory of meloncholia, transcending them both the provide something wonderfully uplifting despite the underlying tones. How much more we will hear from Copse remains an open ended question but this is a piece of stunning majestic beauty [8/10]
“Mara | Mondrem” by Copse is out now and available over at bandcamp.