Despite being a relatively young band, formed in early 2011, the boys that are Vera Grace have toured tirelessly throughout the UK, earning themselves a reputation for destructive live shows and engaging every crowd. Now they are entering a make or break period in which they will be hoping to take 2013 by storm with the release of their new EP ‘The Lucifer Effect’ on February 7 2013.
Forged in the quiet town of Witney, a matter of miles away from Oxford University, the unsigned band can see their efforts mirrored by their fellow Oxonians, both being full of potential and bloody hard working.
Following their debut EP, ‘Rotations’, in October 2011, Vera Grace have built upon their reputation for crunching live shows with a violent brand of riff raging metalcore, noticeably taking influences from bands like Underoath amongst others.
The new EP gives pride of position to the raw, emotional, raspy vocal style of Stephen Nulty, backed by melodic but ferocious riffs and pounding drums. The thundering composition and infectious melodies show what Vera Grace can deliver, with lyrics that are solid even if they are nothing especially original or deep and meaningful, covering most of the typical themes from evil to a lack of human morality. However, even though the energy, honest lyrics and haunting riffs display all the best parts of the band’s sound, the vocals lack a degree of depth and power that is possessed by a lot of bands on the metalcore/hardcore scene.
That said, one song that goes some way to justifying the comparison to students at Oxford is the first track, “Carrier”. This isn’t because it is about tea and scones; it doesn’t have lyrics about boat races, but what it does have is a slow and purposeful rhythm, showing that the band really thought about this song and it wasn’t just the result playing all of their instruments as loudly as possible until a tune stuck. I’m not saying that is how most metal bands get together to record an EP, but when you listen to “Carrier” it is immediately obvious that the whole song has been constructed in a very precise way, something that is hardly characteristic of metalcore music.
Third track, “The Father’s Eyes”, shows another glimpse of the promise that Vera Grace hold for the future, but the repetition in the chorus can become monotonous. While it might have seemed like a point worth repeating at the time of writing the song, only the band will know whether its repetition was worth the sacrifice of any diversity and originality they could have injected in its place.
Judging by the EP in its entirety, there are a few things that need to be done if the band’s raw potential is to be transformed into something bigger and stronger which can hold its own in the wider world of music. Nevertheless, if they take the time to perfect their writing style a bit more and try to strengthen and bulk up the vocals, they promise to be on the frontline of what could be a new wave of metalcore.
2.5 out of 5 high fives!