“AT FIRST WE BURN”
Single Review By Rick Tilley
I always feel very honoured when a band, Management Company or label come to me to ask for a review, as is the case here, but if the band are fairly new and it’s your first chance to hear something then there is always the chance you might not like it! You then have to decide whether to go ahead and write a review anyway, hoping that constructive criticism will still give the band in question some exposure or quietly let it slip away without offending anyone. If you are familiar with reading my past reviews you’ll know I’m not a person to shy away from being honest and open and in the vast majority of cases bands have been very supportive of that decision!
With that thought in mind it still took me a few days to decide what to do about this lead single from the forthcoming debut Vengeful Atonement album ‘At First We Burn’ (due October 30th) because on first listen I was distinctly unimpressed. This seven minute title track felt like a mish mash of ideas with a subpar chorus and bad production. I went away, did some research on the band, listened to their debut EP ‘False Claims’ on YouTube and then came back to this track a couple of days later. Well, two days can make a lot of difference because the more I listen to this the more I like it, and whilst I still have reservations about the production and mix, the band are growing on me.
Vengeful Atonement are a five piece from Coventry and come to the table with a huge variety of influences to their writing. Musical diversity can sometimes work immediately and sound fresh but at other times can sound like five different songs played at the same time or a collection of ideas that just don’t gel. That was my initial thought but as I’ve got my head around what’s going on here then it does all start to make sense. With influences as diverse as Iron Maiden, Alter Bridge, Machine Head and Dead Frequency and a statement from the band that no two songs will sound the same then it’s difficult to know how the rest of the album will sound so basing a fully rounded opinion on this is not easy.
Having listened to their earlier EP my only concern is the production. They seem to have taken a step backwards when comparing the two. Drums are very high in the mix although that could be down to the overuse of double bass pedals (sometimes less is more) or it could be that they wanted a raw sound. Either way it sounds a little amateurish and has left me wondering if the mix I have is not the finished product! Regardless of that, there is still definitely enough here to whet my appetite for the full album and I’m hoping that listening to the whole thing will give me a better understanding of what Vengeful Atonement are all about!
At First We Burn
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeUmKGM5TEnHNOqlo1J2_9g (YouTube Channel)
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