When school friends and metalheads Dan Lewin and Henry Waller decided, after writing and playing music together, to form a band, they recruited Henry’s older brother, Jacob, to put words to the tunes they had written, and also to sing them. Another friend Jon Cresswell, was keen to join and as the requirement was for a bassist, and not for his guitarist skills, he went away and learnt to play bass, returning well versed enough to learn 10 songs to performance standard in the two weeks before the band’s first gig. That takes talent as well as commitment!
That was all in the dim and distant past that was 2016, now the band have produced this, their debut album. Citing influences as diverse as Alter Bridge, Five Finger Death Punch, Famyne and Black Sone Cherry, the sound this band produce is metal, often of a thrash variety and it is never boring. Opening with ‘Blind’ an interesting drum pattern underlies a choppy riff that drives this along, while the vocal reminds me, a little, of FFDP’s Ivan. A nifty guitar break concludes this excellent track.
‘Hunter’ is a chugging rocker with a touch of thrash, a gruffer vocal sound works well and the backing vocal compliments before a cleaner sound takes over. Following this ‘Battle Torn’ has a hook and chorus which will, I suspect, become a crowd favourite and probably induce some participation of a sing-a-long variety. An accomplished guitar solo entertains before the track marches, literally, to a conclusion. The band can get speedy, and the thrashier aspects of their sound come through on ‘Wasteland’ which has an urgent tone and another memorable chorus.
Title track ‘Bloodlines’ feels a little nu-metal, but not detrimentally so, the vocal is harsher but a good riff is there and melody can be discerned amongst the mayhem. We find out that Jacob has a full-on metal scream in his repertoire, and he uses it to good effect on ‘Warmonger’ despite this track feeling much more ‘melodic’ and includes a flowing guitar solo which is a delight. Penultimate track ‘Watch It Burn’ returns the band to full-on metal territory and an angry vocal tone brings to mind Machine Head in their heyday, this track ends with a bang, not a whimper.
The question for any band is how to finish an album and leave the listener wanting to return and hopefully wanting more. Enquire Within decide to finish with the best track on the album. ‘War’ is a monster, Dragonforce riffage and Pantera vocalisation are evident, but only as influences, in the end this band retain an individuality which will have you checking them out live and wanting to hear more.
The question then, is, have this band managed to achieve what they set out to achieve? Well let us take a look; Melody – check, Metallic vocals – check, Riffage – check, Strong drumming – check, Speed – check, Accessibility – check.
Debut album – completed. Most definitely a job well done, buy it!
Enquire Within – Bloodlines is self-released and available now digitally and on CD.