Opening song Four Words kicks in with heavy drums, thrashing guitars and vocals which remain prominent throughout. As an opening song it delivers an aggressive yet melodic sound, with the strong vocals of frontman Karl Ficarotta adding superbly to the atmosphere created by the whole band. With Familiar Traits the band show their alternative side, with the great addition of Joe Marsh’s screaming blended in with the lead vocals. Listening to the song you can’t help but think that it would have slotted in to one of The Blackout’s earlier albums quite nicely, the vocal exchanges between Karl and Joe definitely reminiscent of the interplay between Gavin Butler and Sean Smith. The song ends with a metal-esque breakdown that you would expect on the first couple of Lostprophets’ albums, with an electronic presence alongside the riffs and powering drums – it’s hard to believe they are actually from Bristol and not Pontypridd.
Fire Burning Through Our Wings shows how ATOTC can be quite dynamic, producing a very vocally central song in which the drums and guitars play a more diluted role, before Machine finishes the EP off nicely. Combining all of the elements from the songs coming before it, Machine has vocally dominated verses but heavier choruses, bringing back the pounding drums, the catchy riffs and the scream/clean mix of vocals.
It says a lot that the most negativity I could muster is that quite frankly, the EP is too short. It serves a platform from which the band can hopefully spring into the international circuit, but I was left wanting more. When a full length album comes it will have a lot to live up to. If they play their cards right, in years to come ATOTC could be as huge as the Dickens novel they presumably got their name from.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!