Despite – “Epic” EP (Crehate Music)
Formed in the late 90s and hailing from Gothenburg in Sweden, it’s hard to imagine Despite not following in the footsteps of that city’s greatest band In Flames, which clearly they do, but equally the band has evolved over the years to take little also from Soilwork with their brutal chopping beats as well as the riff bending insanity of Gojira. Following the release of two albums, new vocalist Peter Tuthill (also in Godsic) joined them in 2012 and with the addition of a 3rd guitarist in Zoran Panovic more recently, Despite are moving more into the modern metal arena especially with the increasing use of atmospheric guitar harmonies on songs like ‘Awakening’, ‘Give Me Life’ and ‘Sanctum Falls’. It certainly works as while the rhythm continues to provide the heavy element, the guitars work effortless off one another in delivering constant technical breaks amidst piling melodic riffs or grooves. Tuthill’s vocals, while being brutal for the most part and swaying between hoarse to throat strained screamo, occasionally indulging in some actual singing amidst melodic vocal harmonies from the rest of the band. “Epic” shows the band moving away from its prior constraints – be it both live and in the studio – in wanting a bigger and more expansive sound that holds onto elements of old while embracing the new.