Dark hardcore noise-makers Wraiths are a brilliantly punishing prospect. The band hail from the North East and follow bands like Lavotchkin and Prelude to the Hunt in their quest to add more doom and general bleakness to the genre. This is their self titled debut EP and it goes a long way to prove that the band can make this type of gloomy heaviness just as well as the aforementioned bands.
Wraiths trade in speed for a more thoughtful and Earth-shattering beat-down which suits the claustrophobic and grim atmosphere that the band create. Naming the first song Pyramid Head gives the listener a good idea where the band is coming from; you can really see the image of a lonely, forgotten figure wandering the foggy streets of Silent Hill.
The metallic riffs on this EP give the whole release its’ biggest pulling power. Rae Robinson’s vocals never bother to go into chorus’ or gang chant territory in favour of adding another layer to Wraiths’ foreboding sound. This allows the guitar work to shine as Dan Charlton brings a brilliant, sludgy groove to the record. Charlton’s riffs are crushing, memorable and hugely commanding and form the focal point of the entire EP.
Hell Ride marks a high point as the growling riffs trade off with some more delicate moments which once again add even more texture to the band’s sound. There really isn’t enough we can say about how accomplished Wraiths’ sound is and this is only the band’s first release.
Unfortunately, the band begin to run familiar ground by Black Vultures and the slow, pounding rhythms you’ve been receiving for 3 tracks begins to wear a bit thin. While Wraiths’ focus on making their hardcore more doomy is commendable, there just aren’t enough ideas to keep it going to the end of the EP. Perhaps Wraiths really do need a burst of speed and aggression to keep their sound interesting for the listener.
Wraiths’ self-titled EP is a solid and brilliantly textured release that shows a band successfully adding more murk to the hardcore formula. This record has more in common with metal than it does hardcore, but the band have to be appreciated for still including the bruising attitude that attracts hardcore fans to the genre. It’s just a bit of a shame that the record seems to run out of ideas and becomes a bit of a tiresome listening experience once you realise the band’s style isn’t budging.
Wraiths’ self titled EP is available to buy on cassette from Witch Hunter Records now.