Review by Peter Coates –

The UK band’s self-titled album from the following year was widely acclaimed by critics and fans alike, so the 4-piece’s follow up Lost Souls which was released this week, is expected to make huge waves in the NWOCR scene especially, but given the slightly progressive elements here, local fans of Cog, Dead Letter Circus and Karnivool would all find plenty to get interested in.

The band had been due to embark upon a full UK tour this summer in support of the release however they have been forced to postpone the dates due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

The album opens up with a soft-starting Memories, which has an immense sound and instantly showcases all aspects of the band, from the powerful soaring vocals of Ryan Hulme, and the guitars of Myles Cooper which shift from melancholy picking to crushing riff, and deliver a whole range of solos.  In addition the drums of Lee Gilbert are straight to the fore, which really makes you listen out for Richard Clark’s basslines to see how he keeps up!

There is a bounce to the beat of Unleashed, and again the bass and drums are responsible for driving the song along, while Ryan delivers the vocal line.  A range of shattering riffs and beats breaks up the middle section before another verse and that eruption of the UNLEASHED in the chorus.  Brutal!

Title track (almost) Lost Soul is a 6 minute epic with one of the riffs of the year, that slams you back in your seat before the stripped down melody of the verse is really the calm before the storm of the chorus.  The track has a sense of some of those old-school Maiden tracks, with the discordant harmonies of the verse leading into the huge heavy chorus, and then that riff kicks back in again before the gentle interlude mid-song.  The heaviness returns for the solo and Myles really lets rip here before we get the last rendition of the riff and a final huge chorus before the fade!  

A two-minute instrumental guitar segue is New Beginnings which seamlessly rolls out of Lost Soul and leads us into the powerful ballad Believer which starts with the atmospheric brooding guitars and a plaintiff pleading voice that grows in power and emotion as the song progresses.  This has hints of everything from AlterBridge to Breaking Benjamin, and some moody chanting over the solo and powerchords that precede the final chorus.  

A bit more pace and power in Feel The Fear which bustles along courtesy of Lee’s shuffling drums and gives another example of how good Ryan is on the vocals……not your traditional rock voice, but just right for the power and melodies of the Ryder’s Creed sound.  Chasing Dreams has another ear-catching riff and the bass and drums hit all the accents perfectly before the song develops into a modern-rock with tinges of Black Stone Cherry in the chorus.  Monster guitars and some radio-interference vocals open up Meant To Be before the song proper, and we get all that light and shade from verse to chorus, with slabs of distorted guitars and the utterly clean vocals that complement each other so well.  Some wicked accents in here which reinforces my Cog, DLC and Karnivool comparisons for Aussie readers in particular.   Cut Me Down has a slightly different feel, driven by the stunning voice and harmony backing vocals, and the reappearance of the main riff in the mid-segment gives Myles ample opportunity to play around with it.  There is something of Pearl Jam or Soundgarden in the vocal delivery too.

A grungier opening to Hand In Hand With The Devil, but much in the same vein as the other heavy guitar-driven tracks, and features some great backing shouts, and then Myles channels Master of Reality era Tony Iommi with his riffing.  This is brutally melodic rock at its finest.  What I think is a keyboard solo flows over the continuing riff which sounds a little out there, and then we drive back into the song proper for a final verse and chorus before the extended outro.  

Last but not least is the new single Money, a song about the worst of human greed and obsession with wealth, and this rips on through with Ryan spitting and snarling the lyrics while the band lays into the backing track, and did I mention brutal riffs before in the review…….there are about three more here to savour!  

This is a band that falls slightly outside the more bluesy-rock tendencies of a number of the NWOCR bands who are just smashing it currently, but the added dimensions of the intricate guitars and brutal riffing, and Ryan’s undeniable vocal power, with the sometimes discordant harmonies, and the overall immense sound of the production delivered by Greg Chandler at Priory Studios.

Photos – Tom Cope

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Photos – Tom Cope