Ashes of Maybelle – We Are In Stasis [EP]

The Coventry scene like to keep themselves busy. New projects seem to be born every five minutes, and most of them are pretty spectacular. Ashes of Maybelle are one such band. Not content with being in several other bands, this bunch got together to craft one absolutely mind-blowing EP.

We Are In Stasis kicks off with a realm of terror generally associated with black metal. Absolutely frenetic from the opening, with blood curdling vocals, ‘Black And Grey’ is a fantastic way to begin a record. Although it’s certainly far simpler than some of the other projects that the AoM members have taken part in, it loses none of the brutality and none of the vitality. Not content with just heavy heavy breakdowns, the clean vocals that kick in towards the middle take the track in an entirely new direction.

It is the clean vocals that are the true highlight of We Are In Stasis – not just because they add a distinctly different flavour to each track, but because this is where AoM’s incredible songwriting talent comes out to play. In order for it to fit into the track, the band blend seamlessly from gut-wrenching riffs to beautiful guitar melodies. They never feel out of place either, which is further testament to the band’s skill. It’s almost like Ashes of Maybelle have no idea what genre they fit in to and give not a single fuck about it, which quite frankly, rules.

There’s still plenty of mental hardcore bits to sink your teeth into at various points. At about four minutes into ‘Drag Out Your Dead’, there’s a stupendous part that’s filled with hardcore sensibilities and a keen sense of how to write a hook. The track as a whole is fear inducingly awesome, especially lyrically – there are moments that, if you’re listening to this on your own, will absolutely make you lose your shit. Don’t worry, it’s all totally worth it for the guitar solo towards the end of the track.

‘The Defeo Mind’ has certainly got a dirgier feel to it – if you’ve not wanted to go stalking through a dead forest in the pitch black, you might well do now. The last section goes on for a bit too long though, and the track loses some of its previous urgency. This is all fully made up for by ‘Among Thieves’. Not only does it have some of the best gang vocals I’ve heard this year in it at the end, but it’s a total call to arms. If you weren’t convinced at the start, you sure as hell will be by the end.

Ashes of Maybelle have crafted a very well produced aural nightmare. If you like your post-hardcore with a touch of sinister, you certainly won’t want to miss out on this.

4 out of 5 high fives!

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