There must be something in the water in Norway and whatever it is I want a piece of it! Not satisfied with producing some of this centuries best Prog and Tech bands in the likes of Circus Maximus, Enslaved, Dienamic and my very personal faves Leprous, I now find this teaser of an EP upon me. Describing themselves as ‘progressive metalcore’, As Life Fades Away are a five piece outfit who have recently released a beautifully short but sweet dose of slab heavy metal with melodic and progressive elements.
The obligatory intro track ‘Lifeglass’ brings an almost industrial sounding start to the proceedings with with moody electronics and spoken word turning to a bark before the true opener ‘Defeating The Undefeated’ kicks in. From here it’s a twist into the promised metalcore sound, a repeated riff builds up before thundering riffs and heavy as hell vocals kick you into place. A primarily shouted chorus erupts with lower cleans before twisting into a chant of ‘Never forget’ which will stick with you long after you’ve finished listening to the tune.
‘Bow Down’ swiftly follows with a floatingly laid back buildup before the main riff crunches in and kicks in proper. The track, despite being solid and heavy also feels open and spacious, allowing the band to fully allow every element to be heard clearly. An anthemic and rhythmic chorus will clearly go down well live as will the chanted aspects. A brief but perfectly placed solo changes the tempo before dropping back for the final chorus.
Being a huge prog metal head it was third track ‘Horse of Troy’ which first drew my undivided attention, being encapsulated with a creepy whispering reminiscent of Alice Coopers ‘Steven’ before bursting straight into a heavy as hell opening verse, the song suddenly opens to clean vocals which up to this point had been fairly well hidden. A prolonged note is sung before a twisted riff begins the next section. Its here that guest female vocals from one of the bands friends yet again changes the dynamics, accompanying the dirty vocal which reminded me of another favourite band Hieroglyph. There are many more twists and turns and a truly great sing-slong chorus along its six plus minute length but I don’t want to spoil it all for you…let’s just say its my fave!
Closer ‘Pursue’ again plays with the trade off between the heavy and clean vocal styles, kicking off with a massive riff and barked vocals which the Cavalera Conspiracy would be jealous of before the cleans give a great lift and memorable melody. The song, defies its length by squeezing in more ideas than most bands have throughout a single album. Anthemtic chorus, driving barked metal, beatdown, off beat chugg and marching drum build-up, there all in there!
I get bored of tunes very quickly, it comes with the job that I’m constantly seeking new music and musical experiences, sadly it can be quite a fickle position. This EP is no more than 19 minutes long but within that short span there are many many ideas, melodies and explorations that has kept me coming back for more. I truly am looking forward to hearing more from this band and would urge them to get to the UK as soon as possible to showcase their talents.
For fans of Shields, No Sin Evades His Gaze, Hieroglyph and Dienamic!
Be sure to check them out here: https://aslifefadesaway.bandcamp.com/releases