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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Reviews: Resin, Manes, Exocrine, Torqued

Resin: Cycle Of Need (Self Released)

Have you ever listened to Alice In Chains or Soundgarden and thought? “What this needs is more violin” well now you’re in luck as Leicestershire band Resin have gone where no grunge band have gone before. On the back of their acclaimed 2015 EP the band have added Emma Bennett to their line up and it means that they have a sound that is the same but different, take Monster which has percussive power of Seether but the violin just adds a new edge, while on Shitstorm it brings some country to the Southern grooves of a song that has an echo of Them Bones (it’s those backing chants).
What you hear on this record are a band that have been honed on stage Bloodstock Festival, Uprising Festival, SOS Festival, Dementia Aware Festival, Amplified Festival plus countless others they have really laser focussed their grunge metal sound, playing on a trio of guitars from Dave Gandon, Mark 'Chez' Rosebys and Simon Yarwood, a sturdy rhythm section from Drask George (bass) and Ryan 'Sticks' Hextall (drums)and Gandon’s deep Eddie Vedder vocals Resin are a group with dense challenging music that can be anthemic and heartbreaking at the same with the heaviness counterpointed by the delicate violin. 

The album is a mixture of new songs and revisiting old tracks from their first album to show the evolution of their ever changing sound. Produced by Krysthla’s Neil Hudson Cycle Of Need is complex piece of work that belies its rigid grunge trappings, in a genre that it is all to easy to fall into the same old same old Resin try something different and succeed. 8/10

Manes: Slow Motion Death Sequence (Debemur Morti Productions)

This is something we don’t usually review here, but I’m always open to something a little different. Manes are a Norwegian act who clearly languish in misery, this album is about as depressive as it comes echoing the processed electronic nihilism of NIN, VNV Nation or latter day Depeche Mode, with Therapism having the throbbing pulse and the industrial discord. Manes describe the album like so "Slow Death Music Sequence shouldn't be seen as a glass-half-empty, but more like a pile of dry, broken glass on a hardwood floor." The overall theme is one of darkness and unwavering pretension, the band quite happy to lead you down the garden path before totally changing their musical landscape, case in point being the almost whimsical start to Last Hope which builds into a cinematic Katatonia styled epic and features some raw emotion in both sets of vocals. Taking rock, jazz, electronica and trip hop Manes don’t have any borders to their music like an audio chameleon much like Bowie at his most experimental (Poison Enough For Everyone) this is a band who thrive off oppressive darkness and their audience never truly being at ease with the music. Less a band more a collective Manes new album will hopefully let them reach a wider audience as in a world full of paranoia and disquiet they have managed to bottle it and express it over these 9 tracks. 7/10

Exocrine: Molten Giant (Unique Leader Records)

Like the lumbering, fire breathing, Kaiju of their album title Exocrine are born from the bowels of the Earth and look set to destroy it! Building on the monstrous template of countrymen Gojira and German technical masters Obscura, the music on this record has grooves deep enough to contain a lava flow but also astounding feats of virtuosity wrapped up in a progressive extreme metal mantle. With the opening salvo of Scorched Human Society you realise that there is no way this record is going to be an easy listen, the track rapidly switches time and pace, one minute breaking down the next led by furious blastbeats as the guitars provide intense lead harmonies and solos. 

It’s short shock to kick things off as things settle down a little with Hayato which although still schizophrenically changes throughout but manages to integrate them into longer more traditional structures. It’s also the first song that adds more electronic loops/synths that burble at the bottom of Backdraft, the first song to where its melodic middle section that slows as the synths bring the tempo back up into a battery, it shifts into the chunky opening of the title track which features some insane drumming and blistering guitar work (can you sense a theme?). The final track The Shape Of A New World is probably the prog on the record but don’t think of ethereal Floydisms, Exocrine just get more cinematic and bring this conceptual piece to an end. Who knew that the idea of a lava monster and remaining humans could be told so vividly with breathtaking musicianship and the harshest roars I’ve heard in a while. Molten Giant towers over the competition it’s a gargantuan record capable of levelling cities! 8/10

Torqued: Resurgence EP (Self Released)

You’ve probably seen Torqued’s name on a poster somewhere, the groove metal monsters from the South West of the UK have done more rounds than your local milkman, bludgeoning stages around the country with aggressive LOG-esque battery and nu-metal groove. There live shows have included The Mosh Against Cancer, Ashesfest, Wildfire, and Bloodstock. The deep basslines of Hollow Core remind me so much of Korn as does the vocals but elsewhere on Follow Me it’s straight up rage guaranteed to get a pit going. What’s remarkable about Torqued is that they are a three piece so they benefit from the layered production on this record which was recorded, mixed and mastered Elliott Alderman- Broom of Mortis Music. This EP has four studio tracks and two live tracks from the Firebug in Leicester where they performed at Uprising Aftermath and gives you a feel for their live power. I suggest you pick up this EP, bang your head and then find out where they’re playing live to really give yourself a neck ache! 7/10

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