Of all the musical genres featured on this blog, I’d say that Metalcore is the most difficult to assess without a trained ear. Hardcore Punk I’m fine with, but my Metalcore appreciation still requires a bit of work.
Hence this five-track EP from Oxfordshire five-piece VERA GRACE has probably been my most played EP of the past month or so, as I try to find something that would differentiate them from any number of other bands purveying this particular style of music.
Indeed, I was also on a bit of a quest to find something that would instantly differentiate one track from another.
On both counts, I’m sorry to say that I failed.
Look – I believe there have been some complimentary ‘comparisons’ made with the likes of Underoath, so these lads are obviously no mugs, but I still struggle to get into this one. I think in part it may be the switching of the vocal style from a kind of ‘screamo’ to ‘clean’ delivery. I can see / hear what VERA GRACE are trying to do, but the fact of the matter is that the former is far, far stronger and more relative to the band’s overall general sound than the latter.
I’m not averse to a bit of Metalcore, and have to say that during its numerous plays, I wasn’t moved to switch it off. But equally, I STILL can’t remember much about it, other than the sort of ‘gang-vocals’ towards the end of the final track, ‘We Are The Earth.’
But – this IS the band’s debut offering and so there’s time and room to improve and perhaps by the time of their sophomore release I’ll be a fully-fledged Metalcore critic!
(Released on a digital format on 14th May 2012)