Videoclip of the Month!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Allay The Sea - Descent

Allay The Sea - Descent

Allay The Sea is a Metalcore band hailing from New Castle Australia. Their EP Decent was released in 2010 by Aurora Live. Australia has some bloody good bands coming out and time and time again I am always surprised to see so many of them still in the underground zones in their respected genres. Gems like these don’t usually come around this often and are just waiting to be discovered. It’s extremely clear where they must have gotten their influences from because it sounds like classic Australian metalcore. Since this is a debut EP I cannot compare this to what they have released in the past, but I can definitely say that they have really made a bench mark for themselves that even some professional mainstream band couldn’t live up to.

Most debut EPs and demos are very formative releases which feature bands experimenting and trying to find their own sound. What is extraordinary about this band is that with this release, I think that Allay The Sea has already found their own sound and it fits them like a glove. Although many people wouldn’t consider what they have done here original, they have the characteristics of a great Australian metalcore band. Like many Australian bands, it’s obvious that they have been influenced in some way or another by I Killed The Prom Queen. The main similarity between them are the vocals, the sound almost exactly same. Musically they are somewhat similar but Allay The Sea has a certain vibe or signature which makes it a little different and is part of their own sound. Make no mistake, these guys don’t sound like a cheap rip off of some other mainstream band, these guys are the real deal. Musically these guys are very well rounded and in time all the way throughout the whole EP. There are times where they might sound a little loose but that is down to song writing and song structure. This hasn’t made a substantial impact on their sound because it’s fairly rare and I’m guessing it’s all part of experimenting.  

These are two main components on the outside shell of their music. The first one to point out is their melody. The melodic parts are extremely well constructed and well executed, they all have an uplifting euphoric feeling to it. Although they aren’t extremely fast they do have a certain feel off energy to them which is always good. The music seems extremely filling and there doesn’t seem to be any loose holes within the music itself, It’s well written and the momentum is maintained. Also, frequently in their there seems to be a build up of tension in some parts, they are usually predicted by some very short drum solos. This is probably one of the best things in this album because it makes transitions actually interesting. Also these is a small but evident sense of emotion in music, sometimes it sound a little dark but most of the time is sounds uplifting and just amazing.

The second highlight that makes up the outer shell of their music are their breakdowns, there are so many breakdowns within this album and all of them are of high quality. They have the signature of approval from me; they are filling, emotional and best of all they sound heavy as fuck and yes, that is the only way I can describe them. The atmosphere is usually dark and seems like there is a very sinister feeling behind them. This is awesome because in contrast with the more uplifting side of their music it really stands out. Also, breakdowns are best recorded in high quality and that’s exactly what they have done here.

After listening to this album a couple of times, you can pick up the finer details about this album. Firstly they have maintained a consistent pace throughout this album, it’s not fast and it is not usually overly slow. The only times where it can seem very slow is during the breakdowns. The breakdowns sound a lot like if metalcore breakdowns were combined with deathcore ones. This is all a part of their unique sound because it doesn’t seem very fast but it’s definitely seems filling and uniform in terms of the spread of music which is another great thing about this album. Also, not many bands seem to do this but the difference in pitch between the rhythm guitar and the lead guitar. This makes the lead guitar stand out more than what it would normally do and usually it’s at the high pitch end of things. They have compensated for this by making the rhythm guitar a little louder than usual. All this just makes the album sound better than what it would be if they hadn’t put any thought into it. Something else they have done is that it sounds likes they have used a certain distortion of the guitars that is usually reserved for death metal and deathcore bands but have incorporated it into a metalcore structure. That just adds that touch of extra heaviness in their music.

Their style of music also frequently changes as well, at times the riffs sound like something from a Nu Metal band or something along those lines. This is probably due to the distortion of the guitars and the constant palm muting. Also, there are times where they like to drag the notes on for quite a while and seem to build up tension which usually used to transition into a different part of the song or a breakdown. The best thing about this is that the music constantly switches from one to the other without feeling like you are listening to two separate genres at once. They are subtle yet evident.

The music itself is very simple, they have kept energy and the momentum of the music going without having to play at maximum over kill all the time. The music isn’t overly complex and it sounds primitive and sort of like a more traditional metalcore. They seem to focus on what they sound like as a band rather than how good they play. If they hadn’t done this nothing would have worked and everything would have sounded like an odd mathcore band. The drumming isn’t very complex and its definitely not fast, the only thing that is fast about the drums is the double bass. They are extremely fast but only last about half a second at the most but they have quite a satisfying high pitch snap to them. But there is one thing that seems a little more complex than the other guitars and that is the lead guitar. They style in which he plays seems a lot more complex than what the other band members play. That is why it can overpower the music at times and sound very out of place.

For such a small EP, it has some incredible tracks on it. This has by far a better track quality to number of tracks ratio. I think every single track on this EP is worth a go and are always slightly different from the last track. The opening track is Descent and it opens with a damn brutal breakdown. Once you get past the one minute breakdown you immediately get hit by what makes this band sound so great. The sheer energy within the music astounds me and the transition between the opening breakdown and the rest of the song is probably one of the best moments in the EP. Also, the album isn’t in monotone either. There are 3 main parts to the song and they all sound awesome and uplifting. Decent is definitely one of the standout tracks in the EP. The next track is Hung Drawn And Quartered it is probably the most memorable track in the EP. Also the intro is very weak, it has the most brutal, most awesome and heavy breakdown in metalcore and I don’t throw that around lightly. It is extremely heavy and it is filling at the same time. The double kick, growls and bass dropping really emphasise the sheer heaviness of that breakdown. Although Hung Drawn And Quartered it has an awesome breakdown it does have some great sounding melodies in it as well.  Treading The Water is the next track in the EP and it is the only track with a guitar solo in it. The best thing about the track is the melodic part at the end of the track, it sounds very uplifting and can make your day. There is a decent breakdown in it as well but it is nothing compared to what was on Hung Dawn And Quartered. The last track to mention is the track Meet Your Maker, the intro of the track sounds a lot like an intro of a very fast nu metal band, for some reason I didn’t like it because it was kind of an outlier compared to the rest of the song. This song is still awesome because onece again there is an absolutely amazing bass drop breakdown in here as well.

Overall this is debut EP from Allay The Sea is one of the best to come out of the country so far. I anticipate that people will be looking out for this band and curious to see what they have in store for us in the future. I think that this band has already found the perfect sound for them and should not change a bit. The recording quality is extremely high as well as the music quality. Some people might want to consider this to be an alternative to I Killed The Prom Queen if they don’t work out as well as what people have hoped. These guys aren’t just a cheap rip off either, they should not be overlooked and this EP is definitely worth a listen. I recommend this release to anyone who likes the heavier or more extreme “core” genres and especially to fans of Australian bands such as I killed The Prom Queen and Parkway Drive. Also I highly recommend this EP to any breakdown addicts out there because it is guaranteed to satisfy. I recommend the tracks Decent and Treading The Water for people who like uplifting and melodic music. But almost every track has this element to it. As for breakdowns, Hung Drawn And Quartered easily wins the prize but there are a couple of good ones in the track Meet Your Maker. Overall this is one hell of a debut release and the next thing they bring out will either make or break them and I have to say they are half way to making it. These guys are next in line to carry on the tradition of “True Blue” Australian metalcore and so far so good. Overall Descent gets an 18/20. 

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