Sunday 12 August 2012

Encompass - A Grief Observed

Encompass are a hardcore band from Kingston, Massachusetts. They released this five track EP in February 2012. These guys are part a really vibrant melodic hardcore across the pond at the moment, so I was pretty excited to hear this EP after featuring fellow Mass band, Paul Allen's Demise a while back on this blog.

Tracklist -

1. Intro
2. Between Then & Now
3. Conflict: Resolve
4. Shallow Grave
5. Silhouette of a City

The Intro is a bass heavy beast that makes way to a gang-vocal filled call to arms.
First song proper, Between Then & Now filled with brutal hardcore vocals and thrashing drums. The guitars here sit quite deep in the mix, until they're allowed to breath on their own. Encompass don't rely to heavily on breakdowns and a lot of their riffs are very much thrash inspired, but with some great melodic moments too. The song takes a brutal turn though, with about a minute to go and pummels you with a bludgeoning and well place breakdown section.

Conflict: Resolve starts with a great melodic guitar intro, which belies the bands sound. It's a heartfelt display from the band, but is mixed with a tangible amount of rage that builds a sinister atmosphere. Shallow Grave is a more metal song, with a symphonic intro and more thrash inspired riffs. Thanks to the raw, live production the music sounds ace, especially the main chugging riff that drives this song on. The pinch harmonics show flair and the occasional guitar harmonies work really well. Again, the drumming holds it all together and provides a great texture amongst the screams.

Silhouette of A City is the final brutal smash to the face, with a crazed breakdown starting proceedings, before a fast-paced hardcore attack swings into view. There are some very subtle screamo influences at play here, but these are quickly swallowed by the brilliant melodic guitar in the background, that brings to mind some of metalcore's greats, like Killswitch Engage and Unearth. The EP ends the way it started, with more rallying gang-vocals and raspy, cathartic screams.

This is an assured EP by a band who are clearly going places. It's tough to compete in their genre, especially in America, but I'm sure that these guys will come good.

Encompass have this EP up for streaming and free download via their bandcamp page below:-

You can also check them out on Facebook at

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