Tuesday, 8 March 2011

#030 Engraved - Overthrow the Pharaoh

After the lengthy and google reliant battle to spell "Pharaoh", I could only resist reviewing my local band's debut EP for so long before I crumbled helpless to temptation. Although they're more or less unknown beyond the area they inhabit, I cannot see this lasting, the quality of their songs taken into account. Engraved play a curious and vibrant blend of progressive, traditional and power metal, which It would take a wiser man than I to truly define. But regardless of genre, Engraved are the sort of band who just appeal to my metal-tastebuds, and I hope to convey why.

The variation in genre within the EP itself is very striking, but echoes of a band of vibrancy, as opposed to confusion of identity. Shorter, thrashy songs such as "Eternal" are complimented by long epics, such as "Flow of the Crimson Tide" which is gigantic and absorbing eleven-minute Goliath of a track. Many of the tracks have something almost unique about them, in the styles and arrangements. There are many a technically profound and catchy intro, and almost without exception the songs are cleverly arranged and have a certain catchiness which I find to be lacking in many of today's other power-metal group.

As far as influences go, you'll hear some Iron Maiden and Iced Earth in here, but they've fused in such a way as to create something which is unlike either. The vocals especially, are quite unique, and are certainly dissimilar to most I have heard. Although the EP is a journey through many styles, one thing which remains pleasingly consistent is the powerful and epic tinge which the songs bear. Regardless of speed and intensity, it is always there, and it would be even better with that little bit of extra production-smoothness which success would bring the band.

Granted, the production is far from tip-top, which is understandable, and YouTube won't be helping with that, as you've no doubt just heard from the video. Other than that, however, I find the band to be very promising, and having heard some of their newer material, from after this EP was recorded, I can confidently say that It only gets better. With this EP, you are beholding a band in the process of finding it's style, and sounding rather good while doing so, and they've only gotten better since. I add, as an afterthaught, that this EP is not avalable to buy, due to various legal reasons which the band are working-through. However, it is, in it's entirety, available on Youtube.

I give this EP a definite 8/10.

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