Continuing to expand on the crunching metalcore of their debut, The Five Hundred have returned with ‘A World On Fire’, a record that sees the group streamline their sound.
Choosing to front load the record with a trilogy of singles, The Five Hundred immediately set out the soundscape for their sophomore effort. Delivering chunky metalcore for opener ‘Black Dogs’, vocalist John Woods-Eley unleashes a barrage of gruff growls and low gutturals before unfurling a soaring clean chorus against the spinning melody that underpins it. Showcasing that they can create solid and catchy metalcore, The Five Hundred hit the ground running.
Deviating slightly with both ‘The Rising Tide’ and ‘Our Demise’, the group incorporate electronics for atmosphere and well placed dynamics to shake things up. With ‘The Rising Tide’ highlighting how strong Woods-Eley‘s clean vocals are, and ‘Our Demise’ bringing the melodic choices of guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty, there are hints that the group could push past their contemporaries.
As ‘A World On Fire’ plays through, it becomes clear that The Five Hundred have refined their style of metalcore, but, unfortunately, it does at times fall into repetition. Whilst ‘Agony’ and ‘The Warmth’ continue to deliver the same elements as their predecessors, they tend to blend into the background.
That being said, when The Five Hundred hit the sweet spot of consistency and deviation, they do so with brilliant results. This is shown on the back-to-back combination of ‘Walls Of Jericho’ and ‘Your Apocalypse’, as the group fly through breakneck palm-muting, relentless percussion, and massive choruses. Whilst the former delivers a grinding and hefty breakdown to hone in on the band’s heavier moments, ‘Your Apocalypse’ brings sharp melodies along for the rise for good measure.
Whilst the record can be a little too similar at times, the title-track not only closes ‘A World On Fire’ on a high note but also opens up a new avenue for The Five Hundred. Favouring clean vocals for the majority of the track and taking a step back, ‘A World On Fire’ combines passionate performances, catchy hooks, and pulsing energy to create a strong conclusion.
Granted, ‘A World On Fire’ does suffer from being uneven, but when the group hit their stride, The Five Hundred deliver some real heavyweight slabs of memorable metalcore.