Broken Calling ‘Broken Ashes EP’ 2019 Review - Chris Gedge (The Mocha-Metal Show)
Soooooo! After advertising The Mocha-Metal Show Broken Calling's lead vocalist Connor Synder messages me “Do you guys happen to do EP reviews by any chance??”
I am thinking why of course, I can do.
After a brief chat and discussion on the bands latest offering, my email pings and I have the New Broken Calling EP in my email inbox.
Now I have heard of Broken Calling previously on social media but I am not familiar of their stuff. I believe the reason to be is the band have been covertly preparing for the Broken Ashes EP release and working hard to push out something to the best of their abilities.
I spoke to Connor about how the band started and he mentioned only briefly that the band are formed of ex-members from Spreading the Disease (a band that I am not all too familiar with) and due to some mishaps during that time they decided to rebuild and reform as Broken Calling.
I am waiting patiently for the downloading to complete and anticipating what I am about to hear!
‘With those that remain patient are rewarded’ and so I was with the first track being ‘Superiority Complex’, like most modern albums and EP’s, the track starts the journey with a familiar speech from one of history’s greatest activists Malcolm X with his speech ‘Democracy is Hypocrisy’ this is accompanied by an almost drum and bass beat.
With the speech ending we have a delightful touch which follows and that is a voice reminiscent of the Red Queen from ‘Resident Evil’ (We all know that voice and we will know the devastation that is to follow…I am not disappointed) with a colourful guitar harmony creating tension (the work of Martin Osborne & Callum Green on guitars).
We are then treated to a glimpse of the pure brutality that is about to ensue and my attention has already been channelled into head banging with the help of James Falconer (bass) and Jack Apella (Drums).
Now I know the influences of the band are Slipknot, Linkin Park, Lamb of God (and I have been told some EDM music as well) BUT I got a similar vibe to Breaking Benjamin’s ‘I will Not Bow’ (one of my fav tunes) with both the build-up and intro.
With the sound of a death bell Connor roars in and takes the track to a new level with so much attitude in his voice, even the cackle of the chuckle is haunting during the first verse. As the song progresses, we get some of the tremolo picking riffs by both guitarists, with the bass dominating and the drums giving us the double bass drive we need.
The riff with the bend is a nice touch which follows the chorus, another nice feature!
The chorus holds the attitude back so the audience can have their dibs of screaming along with the chorus, which is a common thing, but we all know it works! The audience love to be part of the band and I can hear them screaming ‘Superiority Complex’.
Overall for an opening track, for the EP, I am left so far craving for more!
Well done lads I am entertained!
‘Broken track 2’... James brings the dirty bass riff in with thick lashes until the rest of the band bring the assailing assault, one can almost imagine a contagious mosh pit with this anthem!
One thing about this track I find interesting and took me a while to get my head around was Connors vocal approach in the verse. Its not a negative criticism, its somehow unique and almost sounds psychotic and discordant, reminds me of a horror film when someone is driven to madness but with the lyrics ‘Fighting with myself, just to stay alive’ makes it more delirious (a nice touch).
The chorus has a nice melancholy which brings a serenity over the chaotic maelstrom, I think it’s probably one of the catchiest choruses on the EP. The breakdown adds some dynamic shifts with the beat rests and the diminuendo of the melodic spoken ‘loosing my oxygen, loosing the will to live’ before all hell breaks loose…I am still craving more!
The end of the track prepare to bang your fucking heads!
‘Where is your god’…every time I hear titles like this, a small piece of satire satanism takes over…I want it to be heavy! The dialogue from ‘Bad Boy Bubby’ leads us into this track with an angry atheist speech…how could god allow bad things to happen… I am waiting for hell to unleash.
Andddd OH FUCK YES! Mick Gordon would be impressed as I could see the intro riff on a killing spree on Doom with the unison guitar work, the bass adding those sadistic grooves and the drums keeping the hate rolling.
The chorus adds a nice dissonance with the chorus ‘where is your god’ a phrase that already find myself chanting (amongst the headbanging). The midsection allows us a moment to relax with a…what I would call a 'lounge moment', the lyrics take a turn that provides us the negativity of the world from war, greed, famine & corruption. Connor then chants ‘I will not sit here and pray to a man who sits on his throne and does all he can’ then ‘where is your god!’. Again, the insanity ensues as the guitars lay one of the sleekest riffs on the EP followed by the rest of the band adding the barrage of brutality for the ending.
Russell (In Memoriam)... kick starts with an almost classic inspired rock riff which reminds me of an Oli Herbert ‘All that remains’ Riff. We then descend into the story of Russell the father of Connor…already I am feeling the epic-ness of the tribute and a moment of feeling proud.
The chorus line ‘I wish you were here to tell me everything is fine’ & ‘I wish you still would be alive’ really drive this track home. This track is a personal journey and one that I am gripped to and I am aware of the band adding the flow, but I am so drawn to Connors words. I am loving the choir inspired middle section to really create an impulsive impact to this song.
Credit to the rest of the band holding the line for the song but the lyrics for me create this track and what a fitting tribute it is.
The last Track ‘Warmonger’... already sounds haunting but then I am thrown into the ambience of something dark and I am anticipating the outcome. Then we hear a familiar voice from the previous Labour MP Tony Blair and already I am remembering the Gulf War and watching the BBC and that of the air strikes during a fractured time. The lyrics I can tell are filled with hate towards a government that can send our troops to do their dirty work and the chorus ‘How can you sleep at night’. This is almost a twist on a modern ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath.
A Superb ending track to an intense EP, I was thoroughly thrown from each track with the satisfaction of wanting more.
Well done guys I look forward to what the future brings you!
A solid 4/5!