Hello again to my wonderful audience (of few) who indulge in my musical opinions! The Frostman has returned to give heed to something new and offer his thoughts; whether they be overwhelmingly positive or confusingly bad is up to my ears (possibly poor) taste coupled with my brains (also extremely poor) ability to coherently express my thoughts. So, let’s delve into Vanguard – “The Rivals” EP.
Vanguard isn’t a band I am overly familiar with, and had only heard whispers through the grapevine, and through my good friend, The Wolfman. I did some research before diving face first into the EP and thought to myself “Ah. Another Deathcore band.”. Nevertheless, I gave it the benefit of a doubt and had a listen, and By Jove am I glad I did!
The Rivals EP opens with track number 1 of 5, Lament. Through some deep, eerie synth sounds and eventual clean electric guitar harmonies, they have expertly built up an ambient introduction that perfectly lubes up the sliding descent into a heavy ear pounder complete with driving Guitars, semi technical drums and those lovely mid-low Deathcore screams i’m sure we’re all familiar with by now. Lament continues along its merry way until the very end of track until hitting what sounded like a choir crescendo straight into number 2 of 5 Set Apart.
Set Apart is true to its name; set apart from the rest of the songs… Or so I thought, until just over a minute in. More of the familiar Deathcore vibes going on here, not that I’m complaining. Listening to the old school Core formula used in this EP is actually a very refreshing look back to when Deathcore wasn’t the same song across 150 separate bands. As a guitarist, I am inclined to mention that the lead work in this particular song is fantastic, speedy but not over the top and feel for days.
Song number 3 of 5 – Blank Spaces. Something about it is very August Burns Red, and HOLY CRAP the drums in this one! If they aren’t programmed, I’d love to know what you’re feeding the drummer (Andrew Rush) and can the rest of us have some? Further along, you cheeky buggers have continued to make each progressively more technical haven’t ya? This absolutely breaks the mould from the “typical Deathcore vibe” I was getting. Blank Spaces leaves me wanting more, even at its ample length of 4:29.
From The Mouth Of The Lion; a beautifully constructed instrumental intro. The breakdowns in the song are many, however they are all different enough to keep me captivated! Kudos on that.
The final track Sonship starts with a lovely piano piece that leads into a epic wall of melody. This song gets me on an early 2000’s nostalgia buzz, in a sense that it’s overtly jumpy and instils the urge to break your neck moshing! The rhythmic guitar work compliments the lead player fantastically and kept me lost in the music; the speed and accuracy of the solos is something I haven’t heard from a local band in a LONG time.
This a band I would pay to see live and enjoy every minute of it, with my fist to the sky and my voice sure to be broken the next day.
Overall, I’d give this EP a 6/10 on the listen rating! It’s something I could most definitely listen to more than once in a day and still notice things I hadn’t before. I look forward to hearing more of whatever you guys put out! \m/