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Is it better for a band to take a risk and put all of their musical eggs into one collectively experimental basket? Or is it better to go ‘Fuck it, we’ll just do what we did before and it’ll be dope, man’. Ultimately, you – yes, you – will have your own opinion on that, and which genres should try something new and not just resort to the bare minimum and arbitrarily mind-numbingly baser instincts of a set musical style. But in the case of Sydney’s Elegist, they’ve taken the latter, and perhaps, the safer approach and here is the thing, ‘Past Years, Future Fears’ is actually pretty damn good.
Well fuck, that was anti-climactic.
This is the complete package; good song writing, a pretty decent mix, and most importantly, there are some truly great songs (seriously, ‘Stifled’ is some next level shit) here. After all, if the songs suck harder than a prostitute in Bangkok’s red light district then what’s the bloody point? On top of all that, it has a gorgeous piece of artwork as its cover that the blonde-haired growling stud that is Blake Curby put together. Hey, mate if this whole band thing doesn’t work out, just go into photography or design or something and you’ll be set.
Anyway! This is the band’s second EP so far and while it’s the same template that the group has worked off before (not that shocking really), it’s still better than a vast majority of other bands in the local scenes these days. Sure, it’s not gonna top the likes of Sierra or Vices, but for metalcore, it kicks some serious bottoms.
‘Abattoir’ is short, punchy and is as heavy as it needs to be and it doesn’t overstay its welcome, even with its typical filter swell intro, and something that’s annoyingly repeated on the following track, ‘Hold On’. However ‘Hold On’ (which is probably one of the most common song titles out there) and the title tracks focus on more of the guitar melodies, sing-alongs, and sound quintessentially like modern metalcore, and that’s not really a bad thing, but an excessive of bands do this. So with these three tracks, Elegist seem like a small fish in an ever-growing ocean. They seem to have a level of affection for the genres generic aspects in the same way that Tony Abbott has a hard on for Margret Thatcher’s way of governing a country, that is to say, quite a lot of affection.
However, the song ‘Future Fears’ is where the band start to bring their A-game and it sounds like Hand Of Mercy and For The Fallen Dreams had a steamy one-night stand and popped this little beauty out, but it’s still second best to the final song. ‘Stifled’ is the icing on the cake. It’s ambient and atmospherically intro and outro, it’s soaring guitars and tight mid-song solo, the pummelling drums and dire tone of the song make this standout.
Now unlike say, Void Of Vision’s latest EP (with a mix that had about as much impact as a gentle kiss on the cheek), this five-track really hits hard. And that’s what you want from your metalcore these days; impact, strength, something that just smacks you in the face like a knee-jerk reaction from your ex-girlfriend. That’s what ‘Past Years, Future Fears’ delivers on all fronts, just minus the ending of a relationship and a face slap, unless you’re at one of the bands gigs.
Elegist prove that just like how not everyone who goes to Stereosonic is a shredded roid-raging, fight starting fuckwit, not all metalcore bands should be dreaded and loathed. ‘Past Years, Future Fears’ is a solid EP from these Sydney boys, and hopefully – touch wood – there’s a lot more to come from these dudes.