CairnGorm are a York-based, fresh-faced metal group having only formed their latest line-up early this year. A scroll through their biography reads rather dramatically, with members coming and going for this reason and that, but now it seems they have emerged from their sticky patch, at least long enough to record their self-titled EP for our listening pleasure. We have four tracks preceded by the now ever popular and often pointless ‘Intro’ tune, which certainly falls under the latter in this case.
Plucked bass and clean guitar take you through it for the most part, which come across well, there’s anticipation as we wait for the sound to explode around our heads. Sadly though, nothing happens other than the addition of a wince inducing distortion and a bit of pitter-patter on the cymbals, allowing the track to fizzle out to nothing. An intro track at the very least should pull you into the experience, leaving you excited for more, but in this case in all honesty it doesn’t achieve anything on a creative level, or any other.
Hit play on ‘Undead‘ and any hope that things will improve quickly evaporates. The overriding issue is the quality of the recording which is physically enduring to listen to with everything obliterated by guitar distortion. True, in this genre you want some grizzle from the strings, but you want it matched with some serious hammer from the kit, but here the drums disappear with everything else. The vocal is extremely poor, we can barely hear the female lead, but the tuneless male roar resonates over everything. The result is a sound equal to someone shouting in your ear while a band plays in the next room. It’s weird, and we promise you won’t endure it for long.
It’s fair to say the majority of listeners will progress no further but we push on as we must. ‘Our Last Hour‘ may as well have no drum beat at all, it is hopelessly weak. Again the roar in your ear destroys any hope of a melody or hook, and the unfaltering mess from the guitars continues without development or change. A breakdown is carelessly thrown in, which only serves to highlight the amateur musicianship from the drums – at least we can hear them.
Meanwhile, ‘..45‘ and ‘Chains Of Repression‘ offer little else in the way of invention or inspiration so there is little to say on them. These songs are impossible to discern from one another to the point where the whole EP could easily be one song, perish the thought. It’s not pleasant to drag something through the mud, but it’s frustrating as there is little point in releasing something of this quality. The band need practice and experience, and apparently better instruments, before they start meddling in this end of music.
For more information visit the official Facebook page.