It’s hard to be impressed by a hardcore band these days; the genre has just exploded over the past ten years and I feel like people will be digging through the sheer volume of acts for decades to come. The irony of this is that many of the best exponents of subgenres mathcore and metalcore may only be discovered posthumously. This predicament basically creates an underground within a fashionable genre.
The UK’s Seconds Alive have listened, practiced and cultivated their sound. Great influences are noted; Parkway Drive, More Than Life and even Emmure at times can be heard seeping down the creative pathways of these four musicians. Opening track “Red Blood” is an instant classic. Introduced by the jaw dropping drum fills of Rach Adamson, this tune has it all and goes into an instant high rotation bracket on my stereo system. The breakdown is to die for to and is slightly reminiscent of Architects‘ sludgier moments. All the while Robbie Doran is screaming bloody murder, in the best possible way.
The high production values maintained for this recording not only allow a crisp and brutal drum sound but full and intricate guitar/bass tones. This is an important aspect to the Seconds Alive sound because stringsmen Rich Earle and James Hosgood have a detailed and sonically diverse guitar sound not unlike Statues. The guitars alternate between down tuned dirges, mind boggling lead vamps and crystalline treble-string chord sequences. Great rhythmic variations and excellent song writing are the cornerstones of this EP, ably demonstrated in second track “Where Are You Going with This?”
Third track “Drawing the Line” sees vocalist Robbie Doran trying his hand at a clean vocal which he manages with able competence. His strangled scream is the signature vocal sound for Seconds Alive though and serves to reinforce the power and sonic breadth that the band emit. Segue “Speechless” and closing track “Jenna” are the more atmospheric and spacious tracks of the EP. The interlude in “Jenna” strikes me as a very stylish tribute to the whole interlude fad in metalcore songs, it’s a great way to set off into the sunset, closing an absolute ripsnorter of an EP without a dud song on it.
Scrolling through the bands Youtube clips I can see that Seconds Alive can certainly deliver the goods live and their very active touring schedule seems to indicate that crowds are getting behind them as they travel through the United Kingdom. Perhaps it won’t be too long before we see them in British Columbia and Australia where the appetite for this kind of performance is not even close to waning. Furthermore, I hope for their sake that they receive notoriety while they are active and on top of their game. There’s a lot of ‘core bands out there right now but you could do a lot worse than give Seconds Alive a spin.
Written by Scott Andrews