Independent metal band Every Hour Kills is scheduled to release its new EP Re:Awaken Friday. The band’s eight-song record (its third studio recording and third EP) is a presentation that will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as it will to those who are new to the band. That is proven in part through the 36-minute album’s lyrical content. This will be addressed shortly. The musical content featured alongside that lyrical content plays into the album’s appeal, too, and will be addressed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, bringing the musical and lyrical content together to make the EP in whole, a presentation that will appeal to any metal fan.
Every Hour Kills’ forthcoming EP Re:Awaken is a presentation that metal fans across the board will agree is worth hearing at least once. That is due in pat to the record’s lyrical content. More specifically, the overarching conceptual story contained in the EP’s lyrical content plays into the record’s appeal. The lyrical content spread across the EP’s eight tracks tells the story of an alien race from another world that comes to Earth and offers to save the planet from a pandemic that has ravaged the planet’s population. There is a catch, though. In return for providing the cure to the disease that has wiped out so much of the planet’s population. The songs go on to tell the story of what happens from there. Whether the band crafted this album in response to everything happening in the world today is unknown to this critic. If not, then the irony is dramatic to say the very least. The decision to go the noted route is nothing new for the band. The group’s sophomore EP Fragile Machine took a Matrix type of approach, telling the story of a giant “server cube” that held the world’s “digitized minds in code.” The band’s 2015 self-titled debut EP took less of a sci-fi approach, by comparison. That the record’s central topic is such a reflection of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coincidence or not, will make this aspect certain to connect with listeners. The science fiction aspect of the story involving aliens coming to the planet conjures thoughts of the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.” It makes the story that much more engaging for listeners. Keeping all of this in mind, the overall lyrical content featured in Re: Awaken does its own share to make this record worth hearing. It is just one part of what makes the EP worth hearing. The musical portion of the EP strengthens its appeal even more.
The musical arrangements that are featured in Re:Awaken are distintly prog-metal in their approach. Each work is unique in its own fashion, too. The band’s cover of Joe Satriani’s ‘Time’ for instance stays true to its source material. At the same time though, the arrangement adds a certain heaviness through the guitars, drums and bass. It makes the song such an impacting work. By comparison, the more symphonic approach to ‘Anthelion’ lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Scar Symmetry, Starset, and Bring Me The Horizon. The juxtaposition of the ethereal keyboard arrangement and the intense vocals, pummeling guitars and drums here makes for a composition that boasts its own unique identity that is separate from ‘Time’ and the EP’s other two official tracks. Yes, the record boasts eight songs, but four of those are just instrumentals of the four main tracks. Interestingly enough, ‘Time’ is featured twice even though the original song is itself instrumental. That’s just something to think about. Getting back on the topic at hand, ‘Anthelion’ is just one more way in which the EP’s musical content proves itself so important to the record’s presentation. ‘Veiled Aura,’ which opens the EP, is yet another way in which the record’s musical content proves so important to its presentation. The metalcore and melodic metal elements are just as audible as in the record’s other works here. What sets the arrangement apart from its counterparts is that this arrangement also incorporates more of a mainstream melodic hard rock approach a la Sevendust. From the guitars to the vocals to the bass, guitar and drums, the influence is undeniable. The balance of that element and the death/black metal style vocals in other parts of the song, as well as the more industrial elements makes for quite the unique presentation in its own right, too. When all three of the noted arrangements are considered along with that featured in the EP’s title track, the result is a record that is just as strong for its musical content as for its equally engaging lyrical content.
For all that Re:Awaken’s musical and lyrical content does for its presentation, they are just a portion of what makes the EP such an engaging and entertaining work. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. As noted already, a song such as ‘Veiled Aura’ sees a lot going on musically. There are melodic metal elements set alongside some death/black metal influences. Those influences are joined by some distinct industrial influences. The band did its own impressive job of balancing those elements. At the same time, considering all the stylistic changes within the song and all the dynamic changes and performance styles, a lot of work had to take place in order to make the final product work. Those responsible for the record’s production are to be commended here for that effort. It paid off, needless to say. The way in which the guitar arrangement was layered and balanced in ‘Time’ is another example of how well the record’s production was handled. That is especially the case when one takes into account the subtlety in the ghost notes on the snare and the overall drumming against all of the guitar work. The addition of the bass line to the mix adds even more richness to the work. It all comes together to give this song – even being a cover – such powerful aesthetic impact. Again, this is credit to those responsible for the record’s production. The balance of the screams and clean vocals in ‘Anthelion’ and their very balance against the almost Fear Factory style guitar, bass, and drums is yet another way in which the production shines in this EP. The keyboards really serve to form the song’s foundation. The way in which the guitars, bass, and vocals build on that foundation. They whole results in an arrangement that is just as impacting as the EP’s other compositions. When the production put into Re:Awaken is considered along with the EP’s overall content, the whole of the noted elements makes the record a work that any metal aficionado will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more.
Every Hour Kills’ forthcoming EP Re:Awaken is not the first time that the band has ever taken the route that it did both in terms of its musical and lyrical content. Even with that in mind, the band has crafted in this new EP, a presentation that holds its own against the band’s past works and those of the aforementioned similar acts. Again, that is noted through the record’s overarching sci-fi story. The story is a mirror image of everything happening in the world today, save for the aliens. The musical content exhibits elements of so many of the metal world’s subgenres. The production put into the record brought out the record brings out each of those subgenres’ presence expertly throughout. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make Re:Awaken a work that every metal fan will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more.
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