‘Ghost’ opens the show with requisite eeriness and a doom-laden machine gun riff before Sam Appleyard’s guttural multi-layered vocals come crawling out of the grave. Just when you think the song is just going to keep chasing its own tail, a more conventional vocal, which is actually rather good, carries the refrain to an intense conclusion on the back of rolling drums and intricate guitar work; good stuff.
‘Hidebound’ is equally intense with a pummelling riff and some hard-hitting time changes and also features Richard Lardner as an interesting vocal counterpoint. It draws to an abrupt close before segueing into ‘Chailleann tu me’ which has a strong air of lament, bordering on ballad territory.
‘VII’, on the other hand, starts out as breakneck headbanging fuel, though it once again strays into stop-start time changes and machine gun riffing, as well as featuring rolling drum breaks common to more conventional alternative rock. However, the twists and turns and vocal variety that take the song to its climax keep the listener on their toes.
‘Ghost pt. II’ picks up where the opening track left off and is in similar vein, as is closer ‘Embrace the Rain’, which at four and a half minutes is the longest track on offer. It neatly showcases the band’s versatility, especially on the interesting middle section of intricate picking which glides atmospherically into the rain-soaked finale.
This is a surprisingly unpredictable piece of work from An Elegy, who seem intent on not restricting themselves to a straightforward metalcore sound. They employ a number of vocal styles and vary their tempos and song structures to dizzying effect, which is fine on an EP, but may need restraining on a longer work. All told though, it’s good stuff and well worth a listen.
‘Embrace the Rain’ EP by An Elegy is released on 27th July.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)