This EP from Cambridgeshire five-piece IMPACT is not due for release until 20th June this year and normally a review would not be posted this far in advance. But I had a quick listen to ‘Strength Through Loyalty’ as soon as it landed on the doormat. I loved it! So it has jumped right to the top of the pile of CDs marked ‘to be done.’ And if I remember, I will re-post these words a couple of weeks before release.
Metalcore can generally go one way or the other with me. I can take it or leave it as a rule. Hardcore punk however, is just the business! On this EP, IMPACT have successfully and seamlessly merged the two genres into fifteen minutes of a brutal aural assault although I would say the sound is more loaded in favour of the latter.
The EP’s title as well as those of the five component songs leave the prospective listener in doubt as to what they should expect. There is a heavy dose of testosterone infused within the names given to the songs.
‘To Those Lives Lost,’ is the first up. This one has more of a Metal base to it, opening in a raging Pantera style, with indistinct growled vocals punctuated by staccato, machine-gun styled bursts of heavy guitar riffs. However, at various points the drumming takes on a more frantic and punk style, which changes the dynamics altogether and the song then alternates between the two styles throughout.
‘Seconds Out’ is a bit of a reversal in delivery, starting this time in pure punk hardcore fury, but gravitating to a more deliberate and chunky-riffed metal final minute or so. ‘Bite The Bullet’ starts out where the previous track ended, but this lasts just thirty seconds or so, before the final minute and a half is given over to to the more frenzied punk style. The vocals are more Roger Miret than Dimebag Darrell, but the guitar and gang-shouted backing vocals remind me a little of one of my favourite all-time bands (any genre) – Five Knuckle. So that’ll be a great big tick against that one then!
‘Trouble Finds Me’ brings both genres together throughout its duration, the vocal delivery in keeping with the punk side of things, the guitars veering towards the Metal edge, and the drumming marrying the two together.
Final track ‘The Remedy’ is kind of Agnostic Front…. fast furious and unrelenting, with the vocals again reflecting the gruff, slightly hoarse sound of Roger Miret.
This EP will certainly not be everyone’s choice of fifteen minutes well spent I know that. But seriously, you should give it a chance. Amongst all the aggression and angst, there is melody. These guys have been crafting their sound for about ten years and this is seemingly their debut EP!
If this be the first, I sure as hell hope it ain’t the last!
(Self released and available through I-Tunes and Amazon from 20th June 2011)
(10 / 10)