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ASSAULT- The Exceptions of the Rebellions

  • Review by: Ishaan Kumar

Assault are a rising melodic death metal outfit from Singapore featuring Clarence Chong on vocals, Hanesh and Yuda on guitars, Syas on bass and Noh on drums. This 4-track debut EP was released last year. It kicks off with ‘Subversion’, by way of a simple yet emotive rhythm hook that is quite characteristic of their genre of music. There is nothing fancy about it and one finds that there is no need for it to be so either. The verse rhythm has a nice series of syncopated punches backed by a steady beat. Vocally, Clarence’s style is very reminiscent of the raspy growl that Kalmah’s Pekka Kokko has.  The 2nd half of the song speeds things up by way of tempo and rhythm, keeping the listener engaged.

The 2nd song ‘War on Humanity’ falls a bit flat with a lead hook that sounds uninteresting and slightly dull. While the verse section is less boring, the song overall does not impress much. The following track ‘Rebellions Retribution’ starts with a slow bass doodle that again, falls a bit flat but then the guitar harmonic that follows, picks the song up overall. The final song ‘Fall of Obscurity’, is a faster piece and is a fitting end to the EP, quite possibly the most exciting track of the lot. If one were to categorize their sound, it would fall closer to the melodic death metal realm of bands like Scar Symmetry and Disarmonia Mundi.

Now while this EP is a great achievement for a band and definitely a feather in their cap, the EP itself is overall a bit flat. There is a certain stagnation in terms of the music’s emotional offering and one feels that the songs could have been a lot more emotive. Overall, they feel slightly held back in that respect. Another glaring factor is the musical skill itself. While the musicians overall have done a good job of bringing the song to the listener, the drums are sometimes behind tempo, the guitars are a bit sloppy in the timing as well.  The bass is quite sound in both tone and playing terms and the vocals are easily the strongest aspect of the band. However, the negative aspects definitely do not overshadow the fact that one hears the possibility of great music being released by this quintet in the future. This is a band that is serious about its music and if a band is ever ‘allowed’ to make mistakes, its best to do so on the debut EP. Watch out for their full-length album releasing this year!