Videoclip of the Month!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Of Whispers - Conquest

Of Whispers - Conquest

Of Whispers released their debut EP release early 2011. With the success of their self titled debut demo released in 2010, these guys were speculating on how they could they could follow up such an excellent demo. Well… they found a way, and I don’t think they could have done it any better. These guys bring a whole new level of beauty and emotion to the relatively untouched genre melodic hardcore, while mixing in elements of metalcore and deathcore to create this masterpiece. 

I believe the key element of their music is definitely the beauty the music contains. Now, not many people have heard of melodic hardcore because what people usually associate it with is metalcore or post-hardcore. Of Whispers is a tough one to place in either of those genres mainly because they don’t belong to them. They are melodic hardcore, the song structure is of hardcore style, the riffs and drumming styles seems to be related to hardcore more than post hardcore or metalcore and they have hardcore style breakdowns. Although in this case, it is acceptable to place them in post-hardcore or metalcore because the fans of either genre are bound to like this. Now, I honestly believe that this could be the most beautiful “core” EP that I have ever heard and I’m not exaggerating this at all. This is mainly due to the combination of instruments used (obviously), they have involved more than just your generic guitars, bass and drums, there are also violins, pianos (not keyboards) and electronic elements as well. It’s a little hard to say in words or stress how big of an impact the beauty has made, it is essentially what makes the music so appealing.

How have they supported this element of beauty in their music… with emotion of course! There is definitely a presence of emotion here and that is beyond reasonable doubt. Although it’s not as strong as the beautiful side of things, it has made its presence apparent. Now the thing that I admire the most about this band is that they have not tried to make emotion the headline factor in their music. I mean sure at times they might have little snippets here and there but it doesn’t take up anymore than 20% of the music. Also I think that they have used the correct style of emotion not only for the pace of the music but also because it does a great job of supporting the real headline element which is their beauty. This is another thing that suggests that this band has more hardcore influences than metalcore or post-hardcore because modern hardcore bands typically don’t utilize clean vocals or heavy emotion. Also, they don’t just talk about women and how emotional and heart breaking their life is in their music. The lyrics go even deeper than that, it’s almost poetic.

Now that all the lovey dovey stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the real business… the metal business. This EP is more than just emotional and beautiful, it packs quite a fulfilling energetic punch. Yep that’s right, it ranks higher on the intensity scale than what people may believe. The music definitely has the intensity and oomph that you would normally expect from a metalcore band. Yeah, they have breakdowns and reasonably a fast pace to their music, everything a “core” fan would ever dream of… isn’t it? Now the amazing thing is how they have managed to incorporate both beauty and emotional elements in with the relatively harder stuff. This just adds even more contrast to the music and makes it even more replayable.

Musically these guys are pretty skilful, and I think that many people would find that a little odd coming from a young “core” band because usually skill comes with experience and these guys have little and are only a young band. Surprisingly, the music is quite complex, which is rare to come from a band whose music rather soft and delicate. Don’t get me wrong though, these guys are still far being mathcore, in fact these guys are everything but mathcore so don’t worry about that.

The vocals and guitars are in my opinion the key factors in this bands music, largely because they are the two components of their music that contributes largely to the beauty element. Of Whispers utilizes three types of vocals, the first one to mention are the growls. They are really quite deep and extremely raspy and abrasive. It sounds like someone has just got your ordinary fry screams and growled them. The best and intriguing thing about this style is that it still sounds very relaxed as well. It’s not gutturally so It doesn’t sound like he is yelling at you, this in turn keeps the music sounding beautiful and ambient.  Obviously, the next style I’m going to mention are the ordinary fry screams. There are two particular styles that they use. The first one sounds like a toned down version of The Amity Affliction’s vocals and the other one sounds more like the childish shrieks made by Chelsea Grin. The last one is the yelling which is also the most common of all of them. They sound almost exactly like the most recent of Bring Me The Horizon’s vocals, it’s the type where it sounds like someone is just trying to scream their lungs out without any tone or distortion. It’s actually quite affective in creating emotion in the music.

The guitars also play a major role in creating the atmosphere in the music as well, the high pitch tremolo picking being the main culprit in creating atmosphere most of the time. But the actual tuning and chords that are played would have to be equally responsible. The guitars are very versatile instruments and can be played in a variety of ways. Of Whispers have taken full advantage of this and decided to push things to the limit. At times, the guitars sound very heavy and distorted and they are played in such a way that it almost sounds like deathcore. On the contrary, there are times where they play just like an ordinary post-hardcore or punk rock band. This is definitely noticeable and is just another thing that stops the music from sounding repetitive.

Now to the drumming, the drumming is often considered as one of the major factors in a bands music because it determines the pace and energy of any particular track. Well… the drummer has done and awesome job at this. The drummer controls the pace really well and he comes out at the right times. I noticed that in the high energy sections of songs, he likes to makes himself conspicuous but during slower more emotional parts, he seems to make himself scarce. This is great because it doesn’t seem like he is overpowering or trying to take over the music. Also, the drummer plays more like a hardcore drummer. He utilizes the top hats a lot more and the beats are fairly unorganized and loose, which is a common trait amongst the hardcore genre.

There are a decent amount of tracks on this EP, in which they have randomly pulled out within one year. Even though the follow up was relatively quick, it didn’t substitute for quality at all and that’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. The opening track is a musical called Genesis, I’m guessing it’s just there to set the scene and the emotion for the rest of the EP. There are some pianos and violins being played but it’s not very interesting and doesn’t have much replay value to it. After the short and relatively boring intro, there are some many great tracks. The first actual song is Bridge To The Sun and it’s the track that provides the first and lasting impression for the rest of the EP. It is definitely a beautiful track, it is wonderfully constructed to be quite fast and filling as well as beautiful. It’s definitely one of the best tracks on the EP. The next track is For Gold And Glory, this is probably my favourite track on the whole EP. It’s well written and is extremely uplifting but also has a really emotional part in the song which actually provides emotion (unlike other poser bands). This has to be the best track on the EP and it’s definitely one of the most memorable. The last track to mention is the remastering of the track Conquest, it has undergone some slight changes since we have last seen it at the demo stage. To be perfectly honest, I liked the demo version better. Partly because I think that the demo version was a lot tighter and everything down to the last beat was just perfect. The new version seems to have a few glitches and the most noticeable one would have to be that the vocals seemed a little “out of place”. Unlike the 2010 version which was almost perfect.

Overall, this is one hell of a way to follow up such a great demo. I honestly thought it wasn’t possible for them to match their demo. But… I have to admit, I did enjoy their demo a little more than this EP but that is probably because the demo was shorter and seemed like 10 minutes of pure gold. But this EP is longer and better in the sense that it is recorded in higher quality and the music is even more beautiful. So in those respects, it was better. I recommend this EP to any “core” fans out there because one the best thing about this band is that they would most likely appeal to a wide audience. Everyone from hardcore to deathcore fans will most likely enjoy this. I would also like to recommend the track For Gold And Glory because it encompasses everything that is great about this band and throws it into a single track.  I honestly think that this will be one of the most memorable EPs of 2011 and I am certain that Of Whispers will strike it big in the near future and if this EP doesn’t do it for them, it’s definitely going to be their debut album. Overall, this is an incredible EP and I give Of Whispers’s Conquest a 17/20.

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