Hailing from London, Earthbound are a 4 piece metal/metalcore outfit that are preparing to burst onto the scene. Citing their main influences as Trivium and Iron Maiden, they’ve certainly got good taste in metal. With the release of their debut EP Endure on the horizon, I’ve had the chance to listen to it and see if they’ve managed to put their influences to use in their own material.
Musically, this EP shows a lot of promise. The Trivium influence is definitely noticeable in the guitar work. The tone throughout is thick and chunky, but still manages to retain clarity and depth. Even the clean tones used are great; nice and subtle with enough weight and reverb to create an atmosphere. The riffs are predictable in places, but they serve the songs well and are performed with precision. The bass work is great too, which a lot of young bands tend to lack. The bassist has a few sections where he gets to show off his chops, particularly noticable in EP closer Eve of Tomorrow which features a lot of decoration outside of simply the root note of the chords above them. The drums aren’t overly complex, but compliment the songs throughout. Nothing crazy technical, nothing overly elaborate. Just tasteful, simple, straight to the point drums. The real let down for me was the vocals, which sound a little confused. The two main types of vocal throughout are really low guttural screams and more accessible clean vocals. Now, I know that it isn’t uncommon to have screams and cleans working in unison. I just feel, in this particular case, that these two particular styles of delivery don’t work together. If the screams were a bit higher pitched, I think it would work. Or with the shoe on the other foot, if the cleans weren’t there the screams would sound fine, although I feel the cleans do add a little something the chorus and verse sections. Both vocal styles are almost polar opposites of each other on this EP. The clash is too much. Some of the phrasing is off in a few of the tracks too, with it either sounding rushed or offbeat. I think if the guys spent some time honing in on the vocals and making them sound a bit more together, their future releases could really take shape.
Overall, there is a lot of potential on display here for Earthbound. Musically they are definitely treading the right path, and have displayed that they know their way around their instruments. Endure is an aptly named EP, because that’s exactly what they need to do. Keep going. With a little more crafting and structure, their future could certainly begin to brighten.
The musical ability is definitely on display from the London metal newbies, it just needs more attention to detail and structure. Not an amazing EP, but not a terrible one either. Plenty of potential.