Already Heard Track Guide: Continents – Lifeline


Last year, Welsh metalcore outfit Continents made their return with a pair of singles; ‘Clarity’ and Bad Blood’. It marked the end of a three-year hiatus, having disbanded in 2019. Now the South Wales band have delivered an EP. Titled ‘Lifeline,’ it is a four-track onslaught of raw and vicious metalcore that marks an evolution in Continents‘ sound.

Where opener ‘Gaslighter’ thrives on its rip-roaring intensity, ‘Hurricane’ sees the quartet expand their musical pallet with synth keys and, as you will learn, somewhat improvised rapping. ‘Lifeline’s title track sounds enormous with a strong emotional core. Finally, there is the thrashing ramble that is ‘Gritted Teeth’. It’s all tied together by a relentless energy and revitalised hunger with a point to prove.

Undoubtedly, it’s a striking return for Continents, marking a new chapter for the quartet. Consisting of vocalist Phil Cross, drummer Scott Waters, and guitarists Darryl Sweet and Keiron Dix, ‘Lifeline’ follows a turbulent history which has seen them play shows alongside The Ghost Inside, Cancer Bats, and more. On top of that, two albums, 2013’s ‘Idle Hands’ and 2015’s ‘Reprisal,’ were released through Victory Records.

Despite these ups and downs, Continents feel their current incarnation is the most genuine. ‘Lifeline’ is thematically connected by the emotion expressed, with the light at the end of the tunnel signalling hope.

“It’s an EP for the overthinkers and hopefully by the end of the listener’s journey, you know that ‘You are enough,’ and sometimes the best way to move forward is cutting out the toxic environment around you and not letting the sadness win. In time everything else will come,” shared Continents‘ Phil Cross. “This is the most authentic version of ourselves that we have ever been, and we sincerely hope that the words and music connect with people who feel they need an outlet to express their emotions without stigma or judgement. Ask, Listen. Talk.”

To mark the release of ‘Lifeline’Continents vocalist Phil Cross and guitarist Darryl Sweet have shared a detailed insight behind the four tracks on the EP.

Continents - Lifeline Artwork


Darryl (Guitar): ‘Gaslighter’ was the first track that was written for the EP. You can tell this because it sounds a little more like a traditional Continents song than the others. The theme riff you hear at the start and the end came first, then the verse and lastly the chorus. The chorus was a little bit of a debate as when we were demoing Phil wasn’t sure about the hard cut as he felt it lost the energy of the song. I’m glad we ended up keeping it as it is. The first chorus adds dynamic, the second starts with a slight variation of the first then kicks in to the “golden section” featuring some clean gang vocals of the song before ending up back at the theme riff.

The breakbeat section over the intro was a nod to ‘Eyeless’ by Slipknot from one of my favourite albums and the group singing was very much born from ‘It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door’ by Underøath. Speaking of the chorus, since none of us can sing clean vocals (I don’t even think Melodyne could save us) we had the idea to group together a bunch of super-talented singers from bands in the South Wales area. We all got together one evening at a studio and put it down and it just sounded awesome.

Phil (Vocals): The track tells a story of being gaslit by someone or someone who was a friend that you’ve been there for, followed by that initial process of overthinking that scenario and what’s going on. For example, where you overthink that scenario and question yourself and worry that people are actually going to believe the other person and their motive.

I wanted this to be the initial first track on the EP as it’s such a hard introduction and I love the line ending the song “You’re a liar god damn liar gaslighter!”

I had this huge vision for the ending but wasn’t sure again how to approach the initial idea….I had a pattern, but we needed to source in some help from some mates bands to bring it to life… shout out to Delour, GlassHeart and Manumit.


Darryl (Guitar): ‘Hurricane’ is the biggest step out of our comfort zone for sure. We wanted to challenge ourselves with this one and took a bit of a risk with all its elements; from the electro intro, use of clean guitars, odd time signatures/phrasing, slow chorus and Phil’s vocal which during the middle 8 is border line rap. I think it really shows how we have matured as a band and as musicians. We wrote this track for ourselves and we’re super proud of it, definitely my favourite track of the EP.

As far as the writing process goes it was an odd one to start, I think the first riff was the breakdown and I worked backwards from that. Usually, like Gaslighter, I’d write a theme riff and build around that but ‘Hurricane ‘it was more like “oh shit this is heavy, how can we calm this down a little”… So then I introduced the chorus with rung-out notes and used the verse and middle 8 to add even more dynamic. I think the boys thought it kind of washed out the song a little and it was a little too soft, they were right. So, we added the intro riff in to get things going a little. 

I must say I have a knowledge of drums, but Scott took Hurricane and ran with his talent. The guy is a drumming machine and whilst the guitar playing is really quite simple the drumming is anything but – take a listen closely to the ghost notes and rhythm played during the verse for example. By the way, we recorded with Johnny Renshaw at Bandit Studios specifically because we wanted to record LIVE drums for a natural sound rather than re-sampling.

You’ll also hear WAY more synth in ‘Hurricane’ compared to the other tracks as by the time we finished ‘Hurricane’ up, we had realised just how much it can add to our sound. So once the riffs were locked in, there were a few days with no guitars and just a sample pad and keyboard making sounds to layer on – definitely something I’d like to do more of in the future.

Phil (Vocals): When it came to the lyrics for this the theme was as a reference to anxiety and panic attacks and how they can make you feel as they build and when they hit unexpectedly. I wrote the lyrics for the over-thinkers and how words can hurt and affect people in so many different ways. Ultimately, people need to remember that, however you perceive others, you will not know what’s going on in their mind.

A story about this track was originally we had planned for a grime artist and then a rapper for the middle 8, but they bailed pretty much on the day and lead-up to recording. So, I had to write, record and make up a lyrical pattern within 45 minutes and do something that was way out of my comfort zone as a backup, and luckily I did, haha. It was really cool to mess around on this and try new things vocally.

I hope ‘Lifeline’ resonates with listeners and encourages them to be more mindful of others, whether that be thinking before they speak or just checking in.


Darryl (Guitar): The first thing I had down for ‘Lifeline’ was the rhythm guitar section for the chorus, it had been floating around in the riff bank for a long time, but I wasn’t sure how to fill the gaps musically. I knew I wanted to write a song with repeating choruses for a more traditional song structure. If you listen to our back catalogue most of the tracks don’t lend themselves to a traditional structure but more of a progression leading to crescendo.

The key to connecting the entire song was a synth melody. Once I had that it became a repeating theme throughout ‘Lifeline’, apart from the breakdown but that served as a nice break from the repetition. The breakdown itself was a bit of a nod towards our first album ‘Idle Hands’. I guess I kind of wanted to show that we can still throw it down if we wanted, something I think was missing from our second album ‘Reprisal.’ Actually, the boys didn’t like it at first. I had to persuade them to keep it in the song. When we hit the studio for pre-production, we got to the breakdown section and Phil just off the cuff put down the heaviest vocal and that was it, set in stone. 

Once the structure was nailed, I just used production to sprinkle a little bit of spice into the mix and that was that! 

Phil (Vocals): Lyrically, ‘Lifeline’ is the most open and honest I’ve ever been with letting people into my head space. I wanted it to take the listeners on an emotional journey through my struggles via the emotion in the music and lyrics. The lyrics come from the problems caused mainly by social anxiety with being in such a dark and terrifying place where you’re unable to breathe, speak properly or leave the house at times.

I wanted it to be this initial journey as if you’re in my head right there and then. It’s a huge rollercoaster and the breakdown speaks for itself. It’s about cutting out the toxic people and how they make you feel “DARK AND EMPTY,” then the ending is literally what it says on the tin – “I TRIED TO CUT OUT OF OWN LIFELINE.”

I hope ‘Lifeline’ resonates with listeners and encourages them to be more mindful of others, whether that be thinking before they speak or just checking in.

Gritted Teeth

Darryl (Guitar): ‘Gritted Teeth’ was a track created by Keiron and was his first contribution to the band’s writing process. He hadn’t long been in the band when he brought it to the table, and it hit hard and filled a gap we knew we had on the EP in terms of a 100% full-on energetic track from start to finish. Working with Keiron and his writing style was definitely something new, as he can bang out riff after riff to the point where it was almost overwhelming.

When we came to making the final arrangement, we sectioned everything out and sort of pieced it together a bit like a puzzle. It was weird because the song kind of worked whichever way we did it – front to back or back to front, whatever.

Phil (Vocals): This had to be the final track on the EP as it was upbeat and full of energy.  It’s literally about knowing that you’re enough and taking back control, from those people that made you feel a certain way, that are trying to enter your life again…..but you’re letting them know you may forgive but you won’t forget.

In life, I find you will always come across people that I call friend-hoppers, especially in the music industry that bleeds you dry till they have no need for you anymore, or drop into your DMs when they need something then don’t say thanks. The chorus is literally like shouting at yourself to quit second-guessing because you’re enough. My favourite line in the song is “So give me one good reason that you should be forgiven as you play victim today.”

When I initially wrote this song, I was in a very dark place and had so much going on and was in the process of trying to cut out all the toxic energy around me, while trying to be positive.

‘Lifeline’ by Continents is out now and is available on a limited translucent purple cassette.

Find Continents on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and Spotify.

Continents will be playing shows throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024.

3rd Alt Fest – Moon Club, Cardiff
9th Breakdown before Xmas – Black Heart, London
10th Crofters Rights, Bristol

9th Cavern, Exeter
10th Cobblestones, Bridgwater
11th Hobbit, Southampton

30th Island Fest – RoadMender, Northampton (w/ Heart Of A Coward and Shields)

26th Northants Rocks, Northampton


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