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Wednesday 25 September 2019

Reviews: The Magpie Salute, Vultures, Urn, Dayseeker (Paul H, Liam & Paul S)

The Magpie Salute: High Water II (Mascot Records) [Paul Hutchings]

2018’s High Water I was a splendid affair with Rich Robinson and band on inspired form. Their live show in Bristol was slightly marred by the boorish audience and an oversold venue but having listened to the natural continuation of High Water II I am back on board. High Water II was partially written during the original sessions at the Dark Horse Studios in Nashville and additional honing was undertaken at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth. High Water II goes a little deeper than the band’s debut, with themes of human experience threading the songs together. With vocalist John Hogg co-writing seven of the tracks on the album, this album is more of a collective than perhaps the 2018 debut release.

Alongside Robinson and Hogg, the talents of Marc Ford on guitar, Sven Pipen and bass, Matt Slocum’s keyboards and the reliable Joe Magistro on drums remain, assuring us of the highest quality musicianship. And it shows with no duff songs in the 47 minutes. Opener Sooner Or Later and Gimme Something are high energy Southern blues stomps; there is plenty of slower, mellowness too, such as the calming Mother Storm as well as the bonus of bluegrass legend Alison Krauss on fiddle and vocals for Lost Boy. Whilst there is something comfortingly familiar about the sound that The Magpie Salute create, the quality of the musicianship, the simple and delicious melodies and infectious country feel is something that can only be applauded and enjoyed. Time to dive into the High Water once more. 8/10

Vultures: Hunger (Self Released) [Liam True]

I’m not a huge fan of the Hardcore scene as it’s just an excuse to crowd kill. But Vultures are a band I could get behind. Through the twenty minutes that they have, they create an assault of riffs, breakdowns and foundation crushing vocals. It’s that good that it just rushes by and feels like it’s over in an instant. Granted Rat King is only 51 seconds long, but the rest are 3 - 4 minutes each, giving an average song time. Even with that it speeds by and there’s nothing like it you’ll hear for a good while. The aggression. The rawness and the feeling are all laid bare in Hunger. If anything, Bitter Breath is the EP’s go to song. Giving everything they have to offer, and leave you aching for more. Vultures definitely have something going for them. They just need to tour the underground spots to gain a crowd. And I'll be in that crowd. 8/10

Urn: Iron Will Of Power (Season Of Mist) [Paul Scoble]

Finnish Black Metal stalwarts Urn have been going since 1994, The 3 piece are clearly in this for the long haul. Iron Will Of Triumph is the bands 5th album, which comes 2 years after their last album The Burning. Urn play a very melodic, tuneful style of black metal. There aren’t that many ridiculously fast blast beats, but there is bags of mellifluous up tempo riffs and melody leads. The vocals are harsh, but not so much that you can’t hear the lyrics, in fact this is a black metal album that has several huge choruses that I felt compelled to sing along to! The main style is very similar to the style of Black Metal popularised by Dissection and Watain, a style that has recently been used by German Black metal band The Spirit. Although I said there weren’t many blast beats, the ones that are here are very well done. Opening track Downfall Of Idols in particular has some very aggressive blast beats which kick the album off in great, brutal style. The track also has what is in many ways this albums best feature; huge melodies that stick in your head and have to be hummed.

Another great track for melody is Prayers, which is massively tuneful, and has one of those great choruses I mentioned before. In fact in the last 2 weeks in which I’ve been listening to this I’ve spent lots of time singing the chorus of this track (It’s got me quite a few odd looks at work). The melodious and tuneful aspects of this album come to a head on the track Spears Of Light which is very close to being a piece of Power Metal it’s packed with fantastic melody leads and the vocals are only a little bit harsh, it’s a great track really enjoyable. The final track Will To Triumph is a brilliantly powerful piece of Mid-tempo Black Metal, full of melody, but also driving and powerful, and a fantastically effective way to bring the album to a close. Iron Will Of Power is a great Melodic Black metal album. Huge riffs and melodies that stick in your head, and make you want to listen to it over and over again. I’ve really enjoyed listening to it, and will keep on listening to it. Highly recommended. 8/10

Dayseeker: Sleeptalk (Spinefarm Records) [Liam True]

It took me a few listens to really get into this album as I’m not a huge fan of Post-Hardcore, but it’s grown on me quite a bit. The record itself is a mix between Post-Hardcore and Pop music. Really weird combination by Dayseeker pull it off very well. It’s not a bad album in any means. In fact, it’s quite experimental, which is what the Metal genre needs right now. Instead of the same repetitive noise, Dayseeker are trying something new. And succeeding with the sounds they’re looking for. From the relaxed opener Drunk to the soaring chorus of Crash And Burn, it’s a hell of a ride through highs, lows, Poppy chorus’s & breakdowns. It will take a couple of listens to get really into the album as it’s more progressive into Pop than Metal, but when the heavy sections hit, they hit. With vocalist Rory Rodriguez sounding like Architects’ Sam Carter and the bands as a whole destroying their instruments, they’ll attract a varied audience. And hopefully, conquer the world. Hopefully the band will tour the UK soon so I can catch them myself. Because they can consider me a new fan. 9/10

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