Monday, September 30, 2013

Epimetheus-Sink or Swim (2013)

Post #264

Epimetheus are a hardcore metal act from Connecticut who have recently released their debut, self-produced album Sink or Swim. Rising from the remains of their previous band, vocalist Jacob Lowy and guitarist Will Hartle continued their vision of hardcore metal with this project, named after Greek Mythology's Father of Excuses. During the production process their producer Brian Eldridge joined the mix as their lead guitarist.

Sink or Swim begins with the track 'We Killed the Scene'. The song's lead guitar intro is reminiscent of early-era Avenged Sevenfold. Heavy power chord riffs kick in next, soon followed by Jacob's hardcore screamed vocals. The next track, 'Heart of America', continues the hardcore musical formula while the lyrics tackle some sociological issues of today's millennial generation.

Overall I find Sink or Swim reminds me strongly of All That Remains' first album, Behind Silence and Solitude. Guitar tones and song tempos are quite comparable, and Jacob Lowy's hardcore scream is on par with Phil Labonte's. Brian Eldridge adds a few guitar solos reflecting an influence from classic heavy metal. Other influences from modern hardcore metal bands can be heard throughout the album. From one track to the next Epimetheus maintain their formula quite consistently. There are a couple instances of some melodic elements, like 'Governmental Case', where Brian's melodic backing vocals compliment the choruses and add depth to this recording.

Another favorite track of mine is 'Left Behind'. This song is reworked from the days of their previous band. The older version was originally titled 'Orpheus Looks Back'. It features an acoustic guitar intro that shows some of the band's versatility. While the older version featured lyrics that were mostly a pessimistic outlook on life, this new version features all new lyrics inspired by a true case of teen suicide as a result of bullying. Now the song carries a strong anti-suicide message and should be commended for bringing light to this very real issue that needs to be addressed in today's society.

For being a do-it-yourself music project, Epimethues' Sink or Swim is a surprisingly well-executed album of east-coast hardcore metal. Though much inspiration from veteran bands within the genre is apparent, there are enough instances of originality that make Epimetheus a band to watch in the years ahead.

This album is available to download for free from the band's bandcamp page, and you can stream complete tracks through their facebook page as well.

My recommended tracks from Sink or Swim:
-We Killed the Scene
-Governmental Case
-Running in Place (Great guitar solo on this one!)
-Left Behind (Acoustic guitar intro & outro, pure hardcore in the middle, meaningful take-home message. My favorite!)
-Community Service Project (This song features a piano melody as the intro, another case of Epimetheus trying something different!)

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