Impavidus – Self-titled EP Review17th February 2016 0 By Fraser
Four-piece Mancunian metallers Impavidus were born in the summer of 2015, and have just unleashed their debut, self-titled EP upon us in the last few weeks. They are groove laden, hardcore tinged melodic death metal that holds no punches and takes no prisoners.
The EP opens up with some pure Arch Enemy worship in the form of Heaven’s Gate. The riffs are monumentally heavy and the groove is totally infectious, you can’t help but bang you head along to this. The drum work is super tight here, as is the bass, but immediately you can see the real standout is the vocals. The growls spewing forth from frontwoman Michelle Adamson sound literally identical to Angela Gossow and work in perfectly demonic harmony with bassist Patrick McBride’s gutturals. That is, until her enchanting clean singing starts – her voice is simply fantastic, and the cleans add a whole new dimension to the song. The vocals, the hooks, and the brilliant guitar work has Heaven’s Gate sitting at the best track on the EP for me, it is simply awesome.
Following Heaven’s Gate, Impavidus bring forth Exculpate. Opening with some awesome lead guitar work and some of those epic clean vocals, Exculpate has a much more polished feel to it than what we experienced on Heaven’s Gate. The clean singing takes centre stage here, the growls only really coming in for the second half of the song – with the exception of the chorus. The riff work here is meaty, and there is an excellent solo towards the end of the track.
Black Mirror is the third track, and it kicks off with a rumbling bass line before a build up to the verse. The rhythm and vocal lines in the verse reminds me a tad of The Pentagram Burns, by Satyricon, though more death than black metal. The chorus again features some awesome singing, and the ever-present groove commands your attention. Final track Scourge immediately has a heavier, faster, thrashier sound to it from the opening seconds. The guitar work here is probably at its best for the whole release, and McBride has a bit more vocal work on this track. The biggest contender for Heaven’s Gate’s place as best track, Scourge is heavy and thrashy, just the way we like it.
It would be far too easy to compare Impavidus to Arch Enemy based solely on the fact they are both female-fronted death metal bands – it is a comparison scores of female-fronted bands have to bear, though in this case the comparison is just. If it wasn’t for the fantastic clean singing I would have sworn it was Angela Gossow behind the mic, and the riff work is definitely inspired by the Amott brothers – this is definitely not a complaint though. What we have here is a strong debut release, packed with excellent musicianship, and equally excellent vocals – but don’t just take my word for it, check it out here!
1. Heaven’s Gate
3. Black Mirror
27th January 2016
For fans of…
Arch Enemy, Heart of a Coward, The Agonist
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About the author
This bearded wildman from North of the wall survives the harsh ever-present winter of Scotland on a healthy diet of thrash, death metal and beer.