This cross-breed of metalcore and post hardcore is an interesting prospect that bands like Architects and A Day to Remember have pulled off to great success. Watford mob Elysium are following in these band’s footsteps on debut EP In Valour and generally succeed in paying fitting tribute to their peers.
Unfortunately for Elysium, while they have the chops to roll with the big boys, they haven’t got a lot that makes them stand out. In Valour plods through the metalcore motions and ticks all the right boxes; breakdowns, super-catchy chorus’, screaming, double-bass drumming etc. It’s all here and this genre has got to the point where it’s becoming stale.
Elysium need something else to help them stand out. When these 4 tracks come to a close you’ll realise that you’ve heard all these metalcore tropes in the past and that’s genuinely Elysium’s biggest problem; they offer nothing new.
This is not to say the band don’t have potential. The performances on In Valour are tight and effortlessly played and have the advantage of sounding enormous thanks to the brilliant production-work.
But even this doesn’t help the overbearing realisation that the band have no signature stamp of their own. Even the breakdowns feel cut and paste. 2nd track I’m a Thief But I Keep What I Steal even has a section early on that sounds like a breakdown is about to kick in but for one reason or another it doesn’t, leaving drummer Lewis Crawley to carry the song on his own.
The biggest pull comes in the form of the harsh vocals. These vocals have bite and deliver a sense of urgency that sounds vital. The delivery of these vocals sounds absolutely vicious and helps give the EP something meaty for the listener to get to grips with.
But sadly, Elysium simply showcase 4 tracks that could have been by any metalcore or post hardcore band that’s raised their head in the past 5 years. The band’s music is admirably played and well produced but at the end of the day, you’ve heard it all before. If Elysium can put more of themselves into their music on future releases then we’ll have a reason to revisit them, but for now we’ll just have to wonder what could have been.
Elysium’s In Valour is released on the 13th of May 2013 through all good digital outlets. It will also be available from the band at some point in the near future.