DIRE, a metal band from Quitam, GA, released an EP titled “Depths” this past November. “Depths” is the band’s first offering since being signed to Sancrosanct Records earlier that year and is an impressive label debut. “Depths”, however, is preceded by a full length the band released in 2016, titled, “Volume 1” and an earlier, self-titled ep in 2013. Both of these releases were a bit heavier than “Depths”, but to me, it reveals a refining of the bands sound, and in a very positive way.
The track that kicks off the EP is an introductory track called “Consume” and has a guest vocal spot by Death Therapy’s Jason Wisdom. It’s heavy with clean vocals, short, and to the point. The song bleeds into “Burden” and things start to get hectic. Screaming/growled vocals over well constructed metal verses. The choruses are full of clean vocals that really compliment the verses well and puts the whole package together nicely. To be very honest, this track is extremely reminiscent to me of Haste the Day around the “Dreamer” album.
“Only Soul”, the third track on the album, is very acoustic driven for the first half of the song, but contains clean vocals throughout. The clean vocals are undoubtedly one of the aspects of this album that really stands out to me, they are just really well executed and the vocalist has a really nice tone to his voice. The second half of the track gets heavier, but predictably so and follows the pattern you’d expect based on the first half of the song.
An riff that is a definite pleaser for metals fans across the board opens “Beyond Reach”. This song is similar in nature to “Burden”, especially in the terms that it reminds me of Haste the Day. This song however, is notably heavier and the musical arrangement to it is, in my opinion, much better.
“Wilderness” hit me between the eyes, I didn’t even see it coming. I kid you not, it’s a hard/rock metal cover of The O.C. Supertones’ song and is extremely well done. You never would’ve expected that this ska song that’s a favorite of so many (myself included) would translate to metal as well as it does. On my first listen I simply couldn’t get the grin off my face; probably not the second or third listen either; it’s that good.
The band closes out this EP with “Put It To Death”, featuring a guest vocal spot from Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King. This is easily the heaviest song on the EP, anthemic, and sure to be a song that just wrecks you live and may bring the venue down with it.
I’ll be honest, before sitting down to give this EP a listen to write up a review for it, I hadn’t heard of the band before, but afterwards I found myself wondering how it was possible they’d escaped my attention for so long. This EP is one that is way up there with some of the better hard rock/metal offerings I’ve heard. As you’ve read before in this review, I’m reminded on occasion of Haste the Day and a bit of As Hell Retreats in the screams/growls as well. “Depths” is a sure win for fans of heavy music everywhere and I am really looking forward to what this band has planned for the future.
*It is my understanding, as of this review, that the band is no longer with Sancrosanct Records*