From the start, the Portsmouth quintet tackle an array of deep topics head on. ‘Dead Dreams’ fades in with stuttering guitars before punching through with pounding drums and soaring guitars complimenting Lawrence Welling as he addresses the issue of depression; “it’s ok to feel dead inside” he confesses. It opens the EP to a strong start showcasing the bands lyricial passion and heavy musical chops impressively.
Throughout ‘All We Are’, PTA don’t hold back. ‘Counting The Days’ is dominated by blistering guitar work and a pummeling rhythm section that gives way to a temporary melodic chorus, before hitting back when Welling’s snarling vocals takeover. Whilst ‘Loved & Lost’ opens in an atmospheric, clean manner before the bands ideally heavy sound comes back with impact. With Welling’s growling vocals and chaotic instrumentation providing a contrast to the lyrical theme of the track; losing someone close to you (“one day I’ll meet you above the clouds”) and making the most of the time you have.
‘All We Are’ is full of raw emotion and none more so than on ‘Backstabbers’, a completely powerful slice of hardcore with its thrashing guitars and guttural vocals. It sees the band deliver one big “fuck you” to anyone who’s tried pull them down; “In time I hope I see you fall from grace” they state bluntly..
The EP closes with ‘Loveless’, a track that makes Prolong The Agony sound at their most epic. Distant, towering guitars brings about a sense of grandoise to their forceful style, whilst twisting riffs and domineering drums sees the track keeping up the momentum with the rest of the EP. Whilst ‘All We Are’ isn’t an exceptional release, ‘Loveless’ somehow leaves you wanting more.
Although ‘All We Are’ is far from a revolutionary release in the metalcore world, it is still an EP that is worth taking notice of. With their meaningful, positive lyrical outlook, Prolong The Agony have provided a much-needed twist on the genre. Musically, they don’t hold back and produce five slices of tight-knit metalcore that are simple yet effective. Prolong The Agony are a band with purpose and ‘All We Are’ could be the first step towards bigger things.
‘All We Are’ EP by Prolong The Agony is out now on In At The Deep End Records.
Words by Sean Reid (SeanReid86">@SeanReid86)