Smoke and Mirrors
Release Date: 2nd February 2015
Progressive metalcore five piece Essence from Belgium take inspiration from the most creative and progressive parts of the metal scene and that is something that can be seen delivered through their heavy layered sounds of thundering percussion and riffs alongside melodies and great, life-affirming lyrics. With their lead singer, Michiel, spending the past 10 years battling a chronic illness, it has seen a change in attitude for him leading to this brand new EP, a really stunning piece of work.
Fuzzy, chugging riffs bring us into opening track ‘Submerged’ and this EP instantly giving a gigantic feel fully immersing you in some heavy metal. From the screamed and shouted vocals to the pulverised drums and the guitars that flit from dank notes to screaming chords, it has all the key elements of a great metal song and should become a firm favourite of many looking for a new UK band to champion.
Gargantuan sounds are the main theme and absolute highlight of this EP all of which can be found on tracks such as ‘Recovery’, ‘The Climb’ and ‘Defiance’. Though each is different in its own way those central elements and colossal accents are all delivered in a pretty chaotic manner. Whether it is the guitar notes that dart quickly and screechingly around or those rapid drums which are brought to us in such a thrashing manner; it is hard not to appreciate the sheer amount of effort going into creating this awesome modern day metal music.
There are a lot of heavy moments on this EP which is to be expected but the slower, calmer moments found on tracks such as ‘Recovery’ make for a wonderful respite from the frantic nature found here. The vocals are more audible and the melodies more profound, it may only be a short build up until a huge final chorus but it is very well received.
Final track ‘Prophecy’ starts off quietly which is a big comparison to the others which all crash in, barely heard guitar strums dance around the quiet before the cymbals crash in, the drums are beaten heavily and the screaming vocals take us through the story of this one. It is a long one to finish on, over 5 minutes long, but it is a really great track worthy of ending such a good metal EP.
Check out the video for the single ‘The Climb’ below: