Amongst Heroes

Solstice

Written by: BL on 20/10/2013 16:56:09

Amongst Heroes from Montreal, Canada are aiming to make waves in the modern metalcore/post-hardcore scene largely dominated by bands from south of their border. For a debut EP from a band that's only a year and half old, "Solstice" is respectably polished and contains some potential. The only problem then as you can guess, and it's the same old story, is that Amongst Heroes just lack the ambition to be playing in the big leagues. There's an over reliance on trying to sound like recognised bands, borrowing their sounds and characteristics, which is all well and good if you can do it better.

The most notable aspect about Amongst Heroes, and their strongest outlet, is clean vocalist Bradley Cooper-Graham. His voice more often than not lights up otherwise a collection of mediocre, not necessarily bad, songs and resembles a lesser Garret Rapp of The Color Morale (who actually makes a guest appearance on "The Wandering"). In songs like "Elegy" and "The Author" with the simplistic metalcore riffing, the chugging verses, the short lasting albeit sweet melodic lead guitars, the outcome is not catastrophic - just not that different either from a billion other bands in their trade. Everything consists of very pedestrian sounding stuff that's been done to exhaustion already, and the production while clean, lacks proper weight and feels unwholesome. Bradley's singing of the generally upbeat (though vague and cliched) lyrics however is a tuneful string that weaves the bland parts all together and tightens to keep it flowing, and is key for other tracks like "Two Years", where the song suddenly springs to life in the latter half. The same effects cannot be said for their now departed screamer Nich Lessard though, who like the instrumentals sounds pretty generic with his modest but mostly dull growls - and even the guitars do have a few nice riffs here, a sweet lick there as the intro of the last song "Order Of The Sun" shows for example.

A guest from the talented Garret Rapp, nor the band's clean vocalist's good work though can hide the fact that while Amongst Heroes is not exactly aiming to break mounds with "Solstice", they definitely need to step up their game (and I sincerely hope that they try). There needs to be more variation between the heavy and the melodic parts, and use less of the same recycled song writing on all the songs. Perhaps that assessment came off as a tiny bit harsh considering this band's age, but see it like this: if you're familiar with bands like The Color Morale and In Heart's Wake - then this stuff will feel uncannily similar and could be right up your street, but so much so that you might end up wondering why you don't just listen to those bands instead.

Download: The Author, The Wandering, Two Years
For the fans of: The Color Morale, In Heart's Wake, Dream On, Dreamer
Listen:Facebook

Release date 16.08.2013
Self-Released

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