ATLVS – The Wound, The Blade (EP Review)
ATLVS – The Wound, The Blade
Released: July 15, 2022
Nathan Coff // Vocals
Matthew Borthwick // Bass/Vocals
Nick Fitzgerald // Guitar
Steve Ljiljak // Guitar
Nick Clavarino // Drums
Emerging out of the COVID era with a new vocalist and more ambition than ever, the newly refined ATLVS line-up have been making their presence known by breathing fresh life into the metalcore genre with their popular singles recently. Having toured the country and playing a bunch of shows in Melbourne lately, this band is in their element right now which makes us all more excited as ever for the release of this EP. However, the big question that stands is, can this release cement this band’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with in our beloved metalcore community? Let’s put it under the microscope and assess!
Kicking off this release on a very heavy note with low-tuned, beefy guitars is ‘Kodokushi’. The track’s fast tempo and heavy instrumentals are nothing short of delightful to experience, however, it seems to overshadow the lyrical content of struggling with suicidal ideation for the most part. Vocalist Nathan Coff proves his worth to the band’s earlier fans in this piece as he spits venom into the mic with pure brutality in perfect fashion. The song slows down towards the outro for a rather emotional finish where more emphasis is put on the song’s lyrical content in a melodic fashion, rather than fast-paced breakdowns which is experienced at the start, making this quite a diverse track.
The next song titled ‘Nazareth’ begins in a similar fashion to the previous track, staggeringly heavy, which of course draws me in. Coff shows off his range while drummer Nick Clavarino flourishes in the spotlight, he refuses to let the chuggy layered guitar riffs outshine him as he delivers his input flawlessly. This is the EP’s shortest song at just two minutes long, while packing a punch from beginning to end.
‘Comethazine’ strikes me as a standout track on this release. Similarly to the previous tracks, the intro of this song stays true to the band’s heavy roots, with breakdowns throughout which manage to compliment the lyrical content of abusive relationships ever so perfectly. A bass solo features in the middle of the song which isn’t seen too often but is a nice touch in this instance as it manages to give breathing space between breakdowns. Finishing off the track is a dynamic that I personally have not seen any other band deliver, bassist Matthew Borthwick sings in a monotone fashion, providing a night and day contrast between the two vocalists while the instrumentals intermittently chug in the background. It is without question a world-class dynamic that is faultlessly carried out, truly revolutionary!
Beginning with a bass riff that keeps me on the edge of my seat, ‘Broken Bonds’ focuses less on face-melting breakdowns, although it does have its heavy moments. This track is less abrasive and flows without any strain. Guitarist Nick Fitzgerald provides an impressive guitar solo that brings us to the slow and melodic outro.
This group shows just how diverse their sound can become with ‘Synthetic Heaven’. Beginning with a soft and melodic guitar intro, it’s easy to gauge just how sombre this track will be. The lyrics focus heavily on the theme of grief and loss, which is inspired from true events by drummer Nick Clavarino‘s grandfather, who he had a very close bond with, passed away. Borthwick has more vocal input on this track and the man can seemingly do no wrong. Lyrics such as “So I dreamt you’re here with me // But that’s not my reality” sends a clear and sobering message. Intricate guitar riffs take us through to the melodic and soft outro which leaves the listener full of emotion.
The final track on this EP takes us back to the band’s heavy roots, ‘Cold Blood’ starts with low-tuned guitar chugs that shake the earth. Just when I thought that vocalist Nathan Coff couldn’t impress me any further, he delivers vocals that isn’t on his usual spectrum and would be quite hard to maintain that range, but he does it with ease.
Oh boy am I impressed?! (rhetorical question, of course I am!) Not only is this local band releasing quality music but they are changing the game with their diversity and their dynamics in their songwriting and have just so happened to have raised the standard when it comes to small local Australian bands releasing songs. With a national tour coming up, you would be silly to miss out on witnessing this EP live in action!
ATLVS – The Wound, The Blade EP tracklisting:
4. Broken Bonds
5. Synthetic Heaven
6. Cold Blood
The Wound, The Blade is out this Friday. Pre-Order here
Review by Adam Rice
Read our review with the band talking all about the EP’s conception and their future plans here
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