Another band to grace the New Blood stage at Bloodstock Festival 2018 were Sertraline. Sertraline are from the Leeds/Manchester area and they released an EP called Guilty back in March 2017. Having had the chance to chat with the band, and been thoroughly impressed with their performance, I am excited to now take a look back at that latest release.
As much as we would love to cover every single metal release that comes out, inevitably some slip through the net. That is one of the reasons we love Bloodstock Festival so much. In particular the New Blood stage. It gives us the opportunity to come back home and catch up on all the metal goodness we may have missed. For more of the same, check out our review of Aonia’s latest release and also, that of Equinox by following the links.
As mentioned above, GBHBL had a chat with Sertraline at Bloodstock Festival. Check out that interview below –
So, Sertraline are a 5 piece with Lizzie Parry on vocals. Guitars are with Mike Hawkings and Dan Henderson while the bass sits with Tom Wilson. Finally, on drums we have Simon Douglas . A lot of people will assume they know what they are going to get when they see a female fronted band. These assumptions have seen the band positively reviewed but compared to the likes of Halestorm and Arch Enemy whereas musically the comparisons don’t really hold up. The band themselves have cited influences ranging from many sub genres of metal including bands like Fightstar, Periphery and Northlane.
Photo by Damian John Photo
The EP, Guilty, is 5 tracks, or around 20 minutes of hard hitting riffs, grooving rhythms and passionate vocals. Starting with the title track, you get an instant feel for what the band are about. A crushing riff kicks it off before a little melodic guitar gets added. The verses are sung cleanly leading into a chorus which brings in some uncleans and a fast drum beat. The music has a nice distorted crunch to it and off sets the clean vocals nicely. It is a solid start, with a rhythm that most will find impossible not to headbang along to. Track 2, Snakes, has a gentler, more melodic intro before switching to a slightly similar sounding riff though it soon finds it’s own identity. A clean sung line is followed by a viciously roared one and the differing vocal styles really sound great together.
The chorus is really catchy and ends with a nice slamming riff and drum blast. Nearing the close, Snakes slows down to a gentle melodic section with softly sung clean vocals, a melodic guitar line and gentle tapped drum beat. This builds back up to an almighty roar and a slowed down version of the chorus which sounds absolutely perfect.
Change of Heart has an interesting, slightly off timed intro with fast drums and thick bass, sprinkled with little guitar lines. The verse slows down to a well sung, clean section that ends with a line of uncleans. Again, the chorus is immaculately pout together, mixing cleans and uncleans and picking up the pace of the music. The chorus ends into a mini breakdown which itself leads into a short solo. The track ends with a really heavy section of slamming guitars and vicious growls before dragging the catchy chorus back in for a big ending. Nyeevise is probably my favourite track on the EP. There is a really cool drum rhythm over a melodic guitar line at the beginning that soon switches to a mosh pit inducing, speed section.
The verses are interesting. Clean singing over a fast drums and ringing guitar notes. The second section of the verse sees the guitars jump back in and raise the power and tempo of the track. Another insanely catchy chorus comes in with a mix of cleans and uncleans. There is a wicked solo that leads into a neck snapping breakdown near the end before we head back to the supremely catchy chorus.
Photo by Wayne Clayton Cult Photos
The EP ends with I Admit the Blame which pushes Nyeevise close for best track. The vocals are so strong here in an intro which has a touch of grandeur about it. The verses retreat to a ballad style with gentle guitars and even gentler vocals. Again, Sertraline smash the chorus with an infectious structure as the instruments jump back in to pummel the listener. The ballad style makes way for an almost doom like instrumental near the end before a huge ending chorus leaves you breathless, wishing for more.
What a remarkable EP Guilty is. For a young band, the quality of the recording is eye opening. Sertraline have a real skill for song structure, writing and especially for choruses that worm their way into your mind and stay there. The music is plenty heavy when it needs to be. Enough slamming riffs and blasting drums to satisfy most metal heads while their is a touch of grandeur and epic added by the supreme singing of Lizzie Parry. Surely a band with a massive future, Sertraline are going to be a name we hear much more from.
Guilty is available on all the usual streaming platforms now, like Apple Music and Spotify. You can also grab a physical edition, as well as a load of cool merch from Sertraline’s store here. Find out more about Sertraline and keep up to date with news on releases and tours by keeping an eye on the band’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to give them a like or follow while you are there.
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Guilty by Sertraline (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8.5/10