Emotion Killer – Tragic Life in a Modern World EP
Release date: 21 August, 2020
Shannon Loch – Vocals/Guitar
Michael Dow – Drums
Zane Deeley Peek – Guitar
Brady Robinson – Bass
They’ve worked hard. They played their first show a year ago. And now Emotion Killer are ready to release Tragic Life in a Modern World – an EP they’ve put their blood, sweat and tears into. It’s chaotic, it’s got variety, and it shows promise – let’s take a look.
The EP from the North Coast locals commences with some crunchy riffs that extend to a metallic thrashing symphony. ‘Inside My Rage’ holds heavy vocal distortions that divulge a hardcore-punk element to a band that will later demonstrate more of a prog-metal feel. The riffs are eminent of some early 2000s metal. This opening track encapsulates rough production that screams perfection; the ultimate model for a band’s first release.
‘Dark Inside’ is next on the track-list and ignites a Trivium inspired sound. Vocalist Shannon Loch blasts into the mic in unison to the rhythm of guitars, as part of an extremely melodic track. The song demonstrates a huge amount of energy from Emotion Killer who have obviously put a lot of work into this song with its various elements and targeted sound. The guitars are definitely the main event for tracks like this with their varying tempos and tuning. The song really sets the bar for the rest of the EP in terms of the band’s chaotic desires.
As we head towards the mid-point on Tragic Life in a Modern World, those Trivium vibes increase instrumentally on ‘Vultures’, and the vocal effort deepens with a darkened growl. Rapidly the track shifts to more of a death metal direction. The thrashing pace slows gradually, and screeching vocals become front-and-centre. Drummer Michael Dow quickly becomes the star of the show as his voice move at a sprinting pace, eagerly racing towards that thrash-metal foundation that the band set earlier on. We’ve now got a death/thrash song on our hands, which makes for a nice brutal combination. The vocals become more demonic, the guitars lower and a breakdown is looming in. The last thirty seconds deliver that crescendo that’s built up for the last minute or so; it’s humble and slowly reaches a halt.
The mid-way track for Emotion Killer’s release is ‘Postmodern Millennial’ – a far groovier number than what we’ve just emerged from. The hardcore-punk elements we were shown earlier come back for another return. With a slower wave, the chorus is melodic and offers a dirty singalong. What I like about this track is that it’s clear the band are proud of their musical diversity, and not afraid to showcase that on this seven-track EP. With the Aussie-accented spoken-word sections, you remember this band are fellow locals and they’re proud of it.
As we turn to the back-end of the EP, ‘Digital Heaven’ commences with a violin-led intro that rapidly gets drowned by high-pitched screeching guitars. Raspy and melodic, the track extends the band’s range into the prog-metal domain, with its highly technical sections, and distinct deviations as the song progresses. And progresses, it does. It gets to the point where it feels like a bit of a Deafheaven influence instrumentally, with lighter touch chaos; but chaos nonetheless.
Before winding up the record, we’ve got ‘Bully Me’ and ‘Subside’. The former track builds up with a minute’s worth of instrumental organisation. As the deathly vocals enter, everything else gets thrown into the air to meet the chaos. The guitars are tuned right up for a melodic medley and are at the forefront, with the rising vocals getting angrier and angrier. This track is well-placed in the EP as it combines many elements from its preceding songs, accentuating appreciation for the band’s eclectic style. It’s got the harrowing death elements, it’s got the calming riffs, and it’s also got snippets of the hardcore-punk that’s been built into the band’s narrative.
Four-minute chiller ‘Subside’ ends our journey with Emotion Killer (for now). The entire EP crescendos into this neurotic piece, pouring out heightened intensity and carnage, both vocally and instrumentally. Mid-way through we get surprised with a tasty (yet short-lasting) breakdown, with the drums driving a lot of the direction. One final taste of the band’s thrashy style shines on as the vocals disappear, and then everything slows down incrementally to a gradual quietness.
Emotion Killer – Tragic Life in a Modern World tracklisting
1. Inside My Rage
2. Dark Inside
4. Postmodern Millennial
5. Digital Heaven
6. Bully Me