Emerging on the Yorkshire rock scene are Shadows Lie Within, an unsigned metalcore outfit who bill themselves as “a more raw Killswitch Engage” – raw being the operative word.
A distorted rainstorm introduces the opening track ‘Shadows Of My Memory’. The screaming, thunderous vocals of Nick Marsh kick in to blend with Ken McGeachie’s relentless, fire-fuelled drumbeat which attains a machine-gun like effect. The immense power keeps apace throughout the track, and the key change in the closing twenty seconds has the feel of a crescendo than a distraction.
This frantic playing style is sustained in the EP’s title track and the untitled third track; more machine-gun drum patterns, more gravel-pit vocals, more striking guitar riffs; with new elements thrown into the mix such as the juxtaposition of gutteral screams and airy backing vocals.
The EP’s third track allows room for the guitars of Gav Seargent and Dan Munn to step up to centre stage, especially during the track’s breakdown, which evokes the experience of approaching the final epic battle of a video game while driven to kick the bad guys’ butt and then some. Its ending, however, is somewhat subdued to its fellow songs; perhaps the breather moment to reflect on what we’ve just heard.
Closing track ‘Now Is Not Forever’ also pushes Seargent and Mumm to the fore, their riffs guiding the listener through the song while encouraging the juggernauts of Marsh’s voice and McGeachie’s drums. Like the preceding track, its fade-out to the distortion first heard in the opening coda of ‘Shadows Of My Memory’ makes the song feel its closure is incongruous to the mood the band make the effort to whip up.
The ‘Ranks Of The Damned’ EP offers the insurgent Shadows Lie Within a bunch of tracks where they lay down a trademark sound that impresses in its delivery and execution. The flashes of versatility also suggest the band aren’t merely one-trick ponies either.
The EP can be downloaded for free on the Shadow Lies Within Facebook page.