EP Review: Artemis – “Nothing Left To See”
The latest EP from Basingstoke’s Artemis sees the band take their chaotic version of hard to pin down madness and refine it slightly. While their raw as hell debut EP was undefinable due to its mash up of hardcore, mathcore and multitude of other genres, it was also indistinguishable from a dozen other bands out there. Further releases saw them go heavier (Give No Help) then much punkier (This Was My Fault From The Start), although the latter boasted the wonderfully weird, almost Neurosis-like I Was Alive.
Nothing Left To See actually sees them go back to making a big genre stew, but this time they are very sure of who they are. Imagine if you will, a much heavier and tighter Baby Godzilla, who aren’t afraid to throw in proggier elements and that’s (almost) what Artemis sound like.
The EP opens with I Am Alive, which is surely a call back to I Was Alive, sharing as it does the same dissonant guitars and lolling tempo, and the first thing that’s apparent is Dan Strachan’s vocals have come on leaps and bounds. This makes for uncomfortable listening as he tears up his vocal chords from the very start with a wall-paper-stripping scream. Dark Passenger‘s abrasive intro chords morph into a jolting verse and punk chorus that meld together much more than on previous releases – a testament to the band’s increasing song writing skills.
The thrash riffing and unusual chord choices of Tip Of The Blade, as well as a manic drum intro from drummer Kurt Phillips recall the unbridled aggression of Superjoint Ritual’s faster moments, especially with an particularly harsh vocal performance from Strachan. Closing tracks Give Me The Gun and Sinking Ship are the band at their most unhinged – shifting time signatures, fantastic riffing and with the latter song the closest the band gets to a hook, as Strachan yells ‘Leave me my eyes!’ over and over.
The band states their main influences as Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan, and when you listen to them you hear that influence all over the place, but with Nothing Left To See the main thing you hear is a band finally finding their feet.