London based, Earthbound released their debut EP in October 2017. That EP is called Endure. Earthbound were another band that really impressed on the famous New Blood Stage at Bloodstock Festival. They impressed enough to make us want to look back at an EP we didn’t catch when it was first released.
We would love to review every single release in metal but that isn’t realistic so inevitably some fall through the net. That is one of the reasons why we love The Hobgoblin New Blood Stage so much. It fills in gaps for us and the quality on that stage this year at Bloodstock Festival was unreal. Check out our festival review in text here or our podcast of it here.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with Earthbound before they took to the stage. You can see that below:
Earthbound are a 4 piece who play a relatively unique mix of melodic death metal and metalcore, or melodic death metalcore. They have been influenced by the likes of Trivium, Countless Skies, Arch Enemy and Insomnium. Earthbound are Tom Watson on vocals and Louie Penfold on guitars. The bassist is Chris Stroud and last, but not least, on drums we have Richard Shearing.
Endure has 5 tracks on it and is around 23 minutes long in total. One of the first things you will probably notice is how the overall production feels a little more like a demo. It definitely has a raw feel to it, something the band may have been going for, admittedly though rawness isn’t really the issue. Lot’s of band’s actually spend time seeking out that sound these days. It is more the mix between vocals and instruments that occasionally sounds a little off. Vocals being a bit too powerful for the instruments. Fuzzy sounding riffs. Muffled drums. Things that point out that Earthbound are a band still learning their craft.
Having seem them live, they are much further down the road then the EP production suggests. Live they are phenomenal with crystal clear sounding instruments and powerful vocals that blend together seamlessly. They will have to work on how they capture that sound on their recordings. Despite those criticisms, Endure is in no way a poor release. Quite the opposite actually.
Across the whole EP there are countless moments that drag you in and hook you. I love the opening acoustic melody that sets the whole thing off at the beginning of I Am Lucifer. The crushing drums that join in with drawn out guitar slams after quickly up the energy and heaviness. The main riff is addictive and groove laden and the mix of clean and very unclean vocals works well. Merrick’s Scourge is one of my favourite tracks. It has a really infectious hook and main riff that should set a fire under any pit. The vocals are vicious and dark at the start but lead into a bit of clean/unclean harmonising for a wickedly catchy chorus. I really enjoy the bass led breakdown near the end that will get heads banging furiously.
Mother’s Ruin has a really quirky vocal pattern at the start which is impossible not to enjoy. The strained style of vocals at the start work perfectly with the intense riff. It really stands out on the EP as something a bit different and unique with many different ideas coming to life. The vocal styles, the stop start riffs, the slow down near the end, the build up back into a thumping headbanging section. There is a lot going on but it works and blends well. Another favourite of mine is Finches. The drums are fast and furious, the riff is quick and in your face. Vocals start off spat with fire and fury before the manic start settles into a groove section. Again the chorus is immensely catchy and well written and there is a blazing solo to get stuck into.
Nearing the end, Finches slows down into an acoustic, melodic section and a quote from Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species is read before the tempo is raised again for a blistering closing section. The final track on the EP is Eve of Tomorrow which also features a guest artist, James Pratt. There is an atmospheric start that soon switches to a furiously heavy section with hard hitting guitars and quick drum blasts. The vicious vocals give way in the chorus to a gloriously sung section that is easily the catchiest chorus on an EP full of catchy choruses. This one gets stuck firmly in the mind long after the track ends. Before it ends though you are treated to a mix of furious riffing and intricate guitar lines that elevate the track beyond reach.
Despite the obvious uncertainties around the overall sound on Endure, there is no doubting the impressive talents of Earthbound. Endure offers amazingly infectious choruses, powerful riffs and thunderous drums along with some very clever, and occasionally quirky, song structures. Expect to hear much more from Earthbound. These guys have all the ingredients needed to make a real, and lasting impact.
Endure is available on all the usual streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify. You can pick up a digital copy, and check the EP out, on the Earthbound Bandcamp page here. Find out more about Earthbound by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to give them a like or follow while you are there.
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Endure by Earthbound (DK Records)
The Final Score - 8/10