Through the misty fields of the Yorkshire dales you can hear a rumbling, a progressive crescendo of riffs, screamed vocals and hollow drum beats that is earning the region a reputation for thumping metalcore and raging post-hardcore. Shortly after Yorkshire’s The Ocean Between Us released their debut record and subsequently parted with frontman Judd Wrighton, and soon after the regions own Bring Me The Horizon released their game changing album Sempiternal, Leeds based Road To Horizon enter the fold with ‘Chapters’,a five-track EP (and a bonus Rita Ora cover) made up of sophisticated instrumentals and intense vocals. You might recognise the boys from BBC Three’s “Don’t Tell The Bride” series. Having appeared in the “metal wedding” episode, which aired in August 2012, the band are shown performing at the unique ceremony, along with getting the groom royally “fucked up” before the big day.
Draped in melodic rhythm, the EP personifies the fantastic bi-polar nature of the post-hardcore genre, from the softer percussion-driven verses to the explosive screamed choruses. The juxtaposition of heartfelt emotion & gut-wrenching aggression makes the EP sound remarkably similar to the likes of A Day To Remember and Road To Horizon’s slower, more melodic take on the genre offers a familiar, yet strong sound.
The EP bursts into life with opening track ‘Through The Ashes’. The song begins with a gentle synth and piano combination but swells into something much more powerful with heavy drums and fast-paced guitars. The soft, clean vocals float in and carry the song through until raspy screams intermittently burst forth to maintain the diversity and give the songs that metal-tinged something extra.
This is a feature of the EP itself and each track that makes it up. With whirling but gentle melodies, fast and intricate guitar work, and the metal-edge delivered by rough vocals and heavy drums. “Caught Red Handed” slows down the clean vocals, but the energy still emanates through. As the chorus springs in the thrashing guitars and aggressive screams tear up the script and give what could have been a slower more peaceful song a darker yet catchier side. “In Your Bed” and “This Is The End” carry on this trend, filling the lyrics with emotive angst and slamming the riffs against the constant heavy drum beat, the screams and clean vocals forming a match made in heaven.
Road To Horizon definitely show a whole lot of potential in ‘Chapters.’ They are capable of putting together a great post-hardcore song, writing and performing complex instrumental parts and the vocals, clean and rough, are fantastically conveyed. When putting together an album however, they could benefit from more diversity, throwing in songs with faster melodies; maybe a song or two with only clean or rough vocals. All in all it is a great EP, a great stepping stone, and hopefully even better things will follow on from this. From first listen they seem capable; let’s hope they deliver!
4 out of 5 high fives!