Melodic death metallers, Earthbound, are back with a brand new single called The Sentinel, a blazing track chock full of hard hitting riffs and underlying melody.
I have been looking forward to new music from the band for a long time, closely monitoring their social media as hints started to drop about new music finally coming. And here it is, The Sentinel.
The Sentinel is a two track single, kind of. The first track is called To Arms and is a minute long intro that builds into the main song of the single, The Sentinel. As intros go, it’s pretty neat. A marching drum beat gets joined by light symphonic backing that builds melodically throughout. It tails off as the song ends and switches to The Sentinel. It isn’t exactly a seamless switch, with the tiniest of stops between tracks, but that actually adds a little drama and intrigue when you listen to it as a whole. Earthbound could easily have chosen to not split this up and just made it a whole song. Marching beat, building symphonic melody, sudden stop and then bang, in comes the metal. It would have worked well. Not that it doesn’t work separately. It does.
One of the few, perhaps only, issues I had with their debut EP, Endure, was the production. Especially the impact that the production had on the vocals. They sounded very separate from the rest of the music. Very tacked on and while ultimately very enjoyable, you couldn’t help noticing that the vocals and instruments weren’t always working together in harmony. That was the first thought I had when picking up The Sentinel. I wonder how the vocals/instrument mix sounds?
I am really pleased to say that this single shows huge growth from the band and my previous concerns are no longer there. The Sentinel starts with a guitar slide and then instantly jumps into a melodic rhythm with drawn out guitar notes and a low, rumbling riff. It is a fantastic start with loads of groove and I found myself quickly caught up in it and banging my head along. It jumps into the first verse with blistering drum blasts and a low, grizzly riff. The vocals are growled, dark and sinister and bed nicely in with the music creating a punishing wall of sound. The chorus comes in keeping the underlying heaviness of the bass, drums and guitars but chucks some stop/starts in to the mix too. The vocals switch up a bit in the chorus too.
A little extra backing comes in for a heavy first line followed by a clean second line. It works really well. This pattern repeats for the second verse and chorus which ends into a huge sounding instrumental section. Powerful lead guitars blaze out melody over a deliciously full sounding rhythm section that powers along with catchy beats and intense groove. This drops in tone but not power for a wicked little solo that is backed by impressive drum beats and a higher toned building melodic line. It fades out to melody but only for the briefest second before exploding back into the chorus for an aggressive and punchy ending that eventually ends up back at the marching drum rhythm from the intro track.
The Sentinel is a cracking melodic death metal song with a few creative twists that help to make it stand out. There is plenty of groove, vocal depth and melody across the song. There’s also plenty of mosh pit inducing aggression on here too. The chorus is catchy and the drums are powerful and just wait until you hit that instrumental section. If you aren’t convinced by the time you get there, I would put money on you changing your mind when you do.
I really like Earthbound a lot. They have genuine potential and have tons of talent. The quality of Endure really stood out even though the production felt somewhat amateurish at points. Here it retains plenty of rawness while sounding full and professional. Most importantly they sound like a tight unit with everything and everyone working together well. I look forward to hearing what comes next from Earthbound, a band with a big future ahead of them.
You can grab a copy of The Sentinel from all the usual streaming platforms from here. You can also pick up a copy of their first EP, Endure from Bandcamp here. Keep up to date with news from Earthbound at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by following the links.
The Sentinel by Earthbound
- The Final Score - 9/109/10