Manchester based post-metal act Pleiades have been compared to bands such as Devil Sold His Soul and Deafheaven in the past, and with their second EP, ‘All At Your Mercy’, it’s clear to see why.
The EP commences softly, as ‘Lotus Tree’ encourages us into its mind-bending rhythmic melodies, with the drums (Calum Bowie) and bass (Joshua Edmundson) gradually appearing more prominently in the mix.
Yet, it’s during ‘Ultra’ that things really kick into gear. Despite a softly-vocalled opening from Andy Calderbank, the direction quickly segues into an uncompromising barrage of harsh screams and amped up instrumentation before calming down once again. This is combined with a decently memorable guitar riff coursing through the harsher segments which gives the track a real shot of adrenaline.
This segregation between clean and harsh, light and dark are apparent as you delve through the five tracks on offer with the exception of ‘Mesa’, which attempts to merge those lines ever so. The pattern of individual soundscapes become slightly blurred with the first real example of melody and heaviness sharing the same space. The concurrent melding of the two approaches heightens the atmospheric nature of the song considerably and leaves a truly lasting impression.
The titular finale encompasses near acoustic segments which carry Calderbank‘s tuneful voice, while snippets of harrowing ferocity punctuate the atmosphere at random intervals. The song itself concludes with a brutal attack on the senses, and a discordant guitar rings out to signify the end of the EP.
With crisp production from Joe Clayton (Pijn, Leeched) and mastering by Brad Boatright (Rolo Tomassi, Employed To Serve), Pleiades have managed to create a piece of art that is both stimulating and progressively challenging. Ranging from the tranquil to the ferocious, it’s something to completely immerse yourself in, and one can only hope for a full-length debut sooner rather than later.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!