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All She Wrote, a quartet from London which formed at the end of 2011, have released their debut EP, ‘Riven’. Similarities are noticeable with Bring Me The Horizon, Young Guns and Biffy Clyro, and they have crafted a melodic/ambient sound intersected with catchy guitar riffs. The intro, ‘Principio’, is just that, a short opener with a very ambient/calming feel, which would be just at home in a mediation room as it would be on an album. It instantly changes pace with ‘Unjust’ and its almost thrashy guitars with hammering instrumentals. The pace of the vocals doesn’t match the pace of the instrumentals, creating a clash. The vocals also get lost among the powerful guitars and hammering drums which, in areas, make it hard to distinguish the lines. The pace changes again with ‘Riven’ dialling it back to become a slow and meaningful song. The song holds a bit more weight with the vocals working well to empower the track compared to the previous tracks. It just seems to amble on a bit and never really peaks or dips. It picks up a bit with ‘Weathered’, which was the band’s debut track, moving more towards the pace of ‘Unjust’. The vocals keep pace and fit in well to create a very catchy and impressive track. Overall ‘Weathered’ showcases a lot of the band’s talent with excellent guitar work and sets an impressive beat. The penultimate track, ‘Persona’, dials the pace back for a steady stroll of a track; again, the vocals are soft and, in places, hard to distinguish over the guitars and drums. The track is filler waiting to transition or build into something that, on occasion, starts to kick it up but, at best, reaches a jog before coming back to an amble. The last track, ‘Finis Principio’ finishes where it starts with an ambient and calming sound but with vocals this time, which lasts just under a minute and a half before a two minute silence which leads onto three minutes of extremely slow, soft, purposeful/emotional vocals with barely audible instruments which, in parts, fade to silence. It just feels long and drawn out for a conclusion which doesn’t showcase much. Overall, ‘Riven’ is an okay listen and I would recommend people give it a chance to make their own minds up but, personally, the slower sections are not engrossing enough to hold my interest and the parts that show promise are too few and far between.
Review by Matthew Gray
7th October 2013
1) Principio
2) Unjust
3) Riven
4) Weathered
5) Persona
6) Finis Principio
"...the parts that show promise are too few and far between."