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Review: Red Raven Down – Phantoms EP

From Seinäjoki, Finland, Red Raven Down released their Phantoms EP on the 15th of December under Inverse Records. It is understood that their vocalist Jani Korpela had participated in a reality show called Voice of Finland, where he gained a lot of media attention after performing Slipknot’s “Psychosocial”. Well… Let’s hear if his band’s EP is any good.

Let’s hear indeed, one of the things I’m liking about this EP already is how the intro track ties in nicely with the first song, whereas many other bands tend to create empty intro tracks that everyone is just going to skip past.

Anyway, the first song “Ashes” is surprisingly melodic right from the first riff. The verses are exactly as one can expect a Metalcore verse to sound like from the 2004-2008 era; the genre’s golden age right where bands like All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, and As I Lay Dying were at their strongest. The segment that is most catchy however, is the chorus, for there is a strong Melodic Death Metal influence heard from the guitar leads, also from the mid 2000 era where bands like In Flames were at their strongest. To top it off, the bridge is a unique segment of its own; layered with acoustic passages that gradually transition into an outro where we hear a melodic guitar solo. It is always good to hear a song finishing strongly.

The title track “Phantoms” is very much like a walk through a park at night under the stars. The song is easy to follow with gently strummed distorted rhythms and what sounds like slowly tapped guitar leads. It is the vocalist that shines the greatest, for his voice is so strong and full of feeling that virtually conflicts the calm sounding track, yet completely fits in with it.

The final track “Rotten” sounds like it would take place on the rooftops of an industrial building. I would say the riffs are at their catchiest in this track because they soar, chug, and gallop in all the right places, with the leads complementing all the way. The vocalist is very motivating as though he is urging a resistance of some sort, but then gradually, the track sounds like the aggression is winding down and ending in a peaceful protest. This is definitely my favourite track.

Well there we have it, I’m almost sad that this EP is so short, but at the same time, pleased to hear that there is still good Metalcore left in this age. An easy 9/10 from me.

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