Saturday, 21 January 2012

As Heavens Collide - What They Fear The Most


Well, I haven't posted about a band from the Netherlands for quite sometime, so I was pleased when As Heavens Collide got in touch with mean about reviewing their EP - What They Fear The Most.

As Heavens Collide are a metal band from Limburg, Holland. This EP was released in 2011 via CrossFireCult records, who you'll be familiar with if you've read some of earlier posts on Dutch metal bands. As Heavens Collide have already clocked up gigs in support of bands like Sworn Enemy and Texas In July.

Straight from the off, the big, heavy sound hits you, with a wall of furiously riffing guitar,
low, angry vocals and the underpinning galloping rhythm singing. AHC employ clean guitar melodies and breakdown-style riffs to add substance to their sound. First track Your Savior is a modern metal leviathan, with a guitar solo to boot. There are some thrash inspired riffs towards the end of the track, but it's very much inspired by bands of today, as the band say themselves, they play metalcore.

There are definite hardcore elements to AHC as well, as in second track Remember, where they use gang vocals and heavy breakdowns to emphasise their passion and influences. This is perfect pit music, but with enough melody to keep listeners of a more metal persuasion, happy. The production is very as you'd expect, with AHC adding in some subtle effects here and there to liven things up. AHC bring together different elements, including some well places Meshuggah-esque discordant riffs and some great melodic guitar touched, especially in third track Flood of Regret. The drums don't let up either, keeping things speeding along at a fair pace throughout.

AHC manager to take the foot of the gas briefly to add in a well placed, short instrumental interlude called Hopes & Dreams. They through more extravagant, syncopated riffs into the title track. The mix up the hardcore/metal influences more on this song,
with some especially heavy, slow breakdown riffs part way through. The guitar solo gives the song a very uplifting feeling and shows off their musicianship really well.

Each track on the EP has it's own identity, as AHC don't stick to the same formula all the way through, even using clean singing in penultimate track Through The Tides.
Last track Meant To Be is the most furious on the EP, kicking in with those rabid screams and brutal riffs, before the pace changes slightly to a punky gallop, with great double bass
drumming. The quietly plucked guitar section providing some solace, before launching back into the melodic metal that is AHC's signature.

Overall, this is a really goo, well produced EP from a band who are certainly trying to bring
European flair to the metalcore genre. In my opinion, European bands seem to be doing better at it than our American cousins, and along with our revitalised hardcore scene, I think As Heavens Collide could well be one the bands that pulls the  genre in a new, exciting direction.

So, make sure you check out As Heavens Collide on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/asheavenscollidenl and you can find out more too by visiting CrossFireCult records at www.crossfirecult.com



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