Walking With Strangers

Buried, Dead, And Done

Written by: PP on 11/01/2010 22:32:38

I could've sworn that Walking With Strangers were an American band based on their sound, but apparently this progressive hardcore/metalcore hybrid originates from our neighboring country Sweden, more precisely from Trollhättan, a small municipality in the southwestern part of the country. They've been hailed as one of the most promising young bands to be on the rise from the country, and while listening to their debut EP "Buried, Dead, And Done", it's not hard to understand why. They've taken the intricate melodies, crushing breakdowns and subtle background ambiance directly from bands like Misery Signals, August Burns Red, The Perennial, Patriarchs, Life In Your way, MyChildren MyBride....yes, the soundalike bands are numerous when it comes to WWS, but the important thing is that the four songs on offer here (excl the intro track) are convincing enough to escape the obvious comparisons and live a life of their own.

The bands listed above will also give you an instant feeler for whether you're gonna like these guys or not. They've got the same screams, deep growls, and plenty of breakdowns ("The Provider" is almost entirely made out of a breakdown, for instance), so if those put you off you might as well stop reading now. If you're not an elitist, however, you'll come to find that the band's complex math rock riffs create an awe-inspiring instrumental landscape, especially when the ambiance-factor is applied to the songs. Think "The Failsafe" from Misery Signals, except on all four songs. Sounds pretty sweet, eh? That's because it is. Another huge plus is that the band has steered clear of the whiny emo clean vocals entirely throughout the EP, which is great because their vocalist possesses almost as great pipes as the old Gwen Stacy vocalist, so you wouldn't want any soft vocals ruining these. Think of their song "Gone Fishing, See You In A Yeah" and apply that monstrous, but yet crystal clear growl/scream combo to all four tracks of the EP. Yeah, like I said, pretty fucking sweet. "Unforgiving" in particular sounds like a Gwen Stacy song, except it's ten times more technical, of course, and has less breakdowns, if I were to draw a specific example.

The production is surprisingly good all around, but not quite as clear-cut as that by Misery Signals, so some excellent melody vs brutality contrasts sound unclear on the record. It's not a major issue though, and one that I'm sure the band will overcome in future recordings as their fanbase and production budget grows. The EP isn't necessarily original, but some pretty fucking sweet riffs they've come up with nonetheless. It'll be hard to tell them apart from other similar bands for now, especially if you leave the record aside for a few days, but with the comparison field being as strong as it is, I think that's fine for now. Excited to hear what these guys come up with in the future.

Download: Unforgiving
For the fans of: Misery Signals, Gwen Stacy, August Burns Red, MyChildren MyBride, The Perennial
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.01.2010
Snapping Fingers Snapping Necks

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