Friday, 5 July 2013

Wraiths - EP 2012


It's Friday. The end of another week. What better time to get stuck into some more heavy tunes. I'm closing out my week long British showcase with two final reviews featuring bands from both South and North of the border. I'm starting closer to home with North East down tempo nuts Wraiths and their 2012 EP, which has been pressed on tape by Witch Hunter Records. It features five tracks of crushing hardcore, with subtle sludge mixed in for good measure.

Tracklist:-

1. Pyramid Head
2. Church Burner
3. Hell Ride
4. Black Vultures
5. Monolith

Wraiths are one of the latest wave of heavy, thick, sludge-ridden bands to bring out a record during the first half of 2013. With Pyramid Head, they mix that sludge with mosh-friendly passages, rock n roll inspired riffs and hardcore vocals. They even through in some introspective guitar which belies their aggressive nature. These guys must have an eye for evil with a song titled Church Burner. What you get is an emotion filled slab of angry hardcore, with a low-end that threatens to blow the floor out from underneath you. For all the clich├ęs written in that last sentence, this song is genuinely heavy and it proves that you don't need to travel at warp speed to be so.

Some of the riffs Wraiths play provide plenty of down tuned melody and actually show a maturity of a band far beyond their first demo! That's a compliment that these guys really deserve. Hell Ride shows Wraiths settling into their EP and flexing their atmospheric muscles. There's another cleanly plucked passage and a build up of volume that helps make the song more dramatic, while the use of multiple vocalists heaps personality on the recording. The production helps too, as it's clear but holds enough depth to help Wraiths momentum.

One thing I've noticed as the opening bars of Black Vultures rings out, is that the songs are getting progressively longer. The ideas and song writing flows more and that claustrophobic feeling that you witnessed during the opening track seems to get more prevalent. I'm finding hard to think of a similar band, which is odd, as I've been listening to a lot of blackened hardcore of late. Maybe that's testament to Wraiths in that they're not easily classifiable, to these ears anyway.

Fifth and final song Monolith is pretty much as you'd expect from a song that smashes the seven-minute mark. It lurches forward at a mid-pace, bringing to mind bands like Seven Sisters of Sleep or Nails during their slower moments. Interesting anchor point there, as Wraiths manage to keep away from the pitfall of using too many influences and not enough originality. Even if you think you've heard it all before, this will still get to you. It'll burrow its way under your skin and hit you when you least expect it. It's eerily catchy for such a slow record and again proves that speed ain't everything.

This is well worth the small investment and is once again proof that the tape format is still relevant. Nice one!

Just because Witch Hunter Records like to look after you, this tape is streaming in full on their bandcamp page:-



As well as that, it's also up there as a pay-what-you-want download, along with the far more appealing option of a Tape/T-shirt bundle.

If you just want the tape, head here - http://witchhunterrecords.bigcartel.com/.

Wraiths Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wraithshc
Witch Hunter Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WitchHunterRecords

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