19
Sep

Review: Shirukume – Speaking in Colours

For fans of:  Sikth / The Dillinger Escape Plan / Protest the Hero

The debut EP, Speaking in Colours by incoming UK band, Shirukume is a fantastic introduction to their unique take on the Metalcore genre.  To be frank, pigeonholing Shirukume to a single genre is both unfair and nonsensical, as shown by their willingness to experiment with a great amount of proficiency on this EP.  Speaking in Colours is both heavy and melodic, with a great use of experimentation used.   Despite Shirukume being a relatively young band, they wield their instruments with great skill and display an immense talent for song writing.  Now defunct, Shirukume have ended and the remaining members have moved onto a new band, known as Chronographs.

Read on to see my review of Shirukume’s debut EP.

Shirukume – Speaking in Colours (2010)

Fans of Sikth should know what to expect from this impressive slice of Metal brutality.  Edgy riffs and harsh vocals are prominent throughout the record with frequent shifting time signatures, clean vocals and melodic passages.  The song structures of many of the tracks here do not follow the formulaic and contemporary approach that you might expect from bands in the Metalcore genre.  Instead Shirukume make use of altering rhythmic patterns and shifting musical sections, thus offering something new to the genre.  I cannot stress enough how fantastic it is to see such a young un-established band trying to bring their own unique twist to Metal.  Although the heavy influences by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sikth are obvious in this EP, Shirukume do not fall into the trap of ripping off their influences, showing a willingness to explore and create their own style.

Vocally, the record is very diverse.  Vocalist Jon Sinfield handles the vocals with triumphant expertise, displaying a fantastic range of screams and clean vocals.  The only criticism that can be levelled at the vocals for me is the, at times, over use of auto-tune effects.  Everyone has their own opinion on the auto-tune vocals that have increasingly been raping music in the 21st century.  Whereas many artists have been using it as a crutch to hide their lack of singing abilities, this cannot be said for Shirukume.  If you’ve heard any of their rough demos or have been lucky enough to witness their live performances, then you will most likely know that Jon Sinfield has a fantastic singing voice.  The use of auto-tune vocals here have been done to add depth and atmosphere to the electronic passages in their music, giving an aura of drowning on occasion.  Although I admit that the use of this effect isn’t always bad on this EP, they are overdone slightly in places.  This is just a small criticism I find however as in most cases the use is not too invasive.

As the intro track builds to its peak, the listener is lunged into a brutal attack of aggression by the second track, The Lighthouse Keeper.  The double kick rhythm of the drums, metallic riffs and violent screams instantly grabs the listeners by the balls and doesn’t let go until the EP comes to a close.  As the track progresses, the band transfer from aggressive verses to melodic passages and an electro-tinged ambient bridge section, before exploding into the track’s climatic end, all with relative ease.  This is a true demonstration of the band’s talent.  Third track, In the Eyes of the Architect, continues the onslaught seen in the previous track, but offers a powerful melodic end to the song as the music reaches its harmonious height.  The contrast of harsh aggressive vocals with clean singing is used to great effect during this passage.  Tracks 4 and 5 are both aggressive and repetitive, but short, so not to outstay their welcome.  It breaks the album down well into an accessible and manageable first EP for the listener.  Both tracks work very well within the demo.  Track 6, Through Prison Bars, and first single offers a more melodic side to their music, but that’s not to say the song is any simpler.  The pounding drums and mixtures of harsh screams and melodic vocals are used to great effect.  The final track, The Escape Artist, is a perfect conclusion and end to this EP, presenting the band at their best.  Everything you’ve previously heard in this album is all used to form a fantastic finale with an incredible culmination of everything that makes their sound so distinctive.  The soaring vocals towards the end of the track are absolutely beautiful and the use of synths helps to add depth to the song.

Overall this EP is a fantastic testament to the band’s skill and talent as song writers.  Shirukume are one band in the UK that really deserved to make it big.  Unfortunately things have come to an end for them, but the members have begun a new chapter as Chronographs, so look out for them.  If this EP is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat when Chronographs are ready to drop their debut full length album.  Bring it on!

Final verdict: A decent effort from Metal newcomers.

7.5/10


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