Sounding like a bastardised child conceived by Bleeding Through and Motionless In White who has been raised on a healthy diet of Cradle Of Filth and Behemoth, fresh faced London sextet She Must Burn have concocted a self-titled debut EP that demands your attention via a sledgehammer over a tap on the shoulder as much as it wants to grasp you with gothic symphonies. For these newcomers, they’ve hit the ground running.
After delving us into the instrumentation of what we can expect with opener ‘Ascension’, essentially a witches brew of all of the aforementioned aspect, first track proper ‘Possessed’ is a worthy snapshot of everything that She Must Burn encapsulate throughout the 6-tracks that compose this debut effort. Frontman Joe Sinclair filters between hellish almost gargling-nails-in-his-throat screams and hardcore-esque roars, before the angelic cleans of keyboardist Aimy Miller interchanges with his outbursts through the chorus.
Miller takes charge in later track ‘Into The Light’, singing over a light and borderline theatrical backdrop of soft piano keys before the calm is overblown by the explosive chord drop from guitarists Terry Clarke and James Threadwell. It adds a more subdued intermission from the apocalyptic-like nature that instills the rest of the record.
The short affair is followed by the strongest track on the EP, ‘Wish To Exist’, leading in with a shrapnel grenade of blast beat drum work from Adam Pedder (who has since been replaced by Dan Ristic between the EP’s creation and release), erratic screams and roars from Sinclair, crushing chord bombs by both axe-men, and some ominous strings via the keywork of Miller.
‘Eclipse’ closes things off as something that sounds like hellhounds Cerberus’ theme music and, much like the track’s namesake, brings the EP into full circle and swallows any hope of the dark and relentless nature of this release letting up once again. It’s not easy to make blackened metalcore, symphonic deathcore, or whatever you want to call this, accessible. Alas, She Must Burn have not only stepped up to the plate, but have done so with minimal flaws.
Having been in the works for a little while now, having been tightened and polished up with new artwork and being pushed by Ghost Music, and adjusting the EP’s title (originally ‘Under The Shadows’) in the process, we may thankfully be seeing a follow-up sooner rather than later. Fans of heavy music, say hello to your favourite new band.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)