Soldierfield – ‘Bury The Ones We Love’ EP Review

Boasting killer artwork from Matt Grundy, vocals from Leigh Oates of the stunning order Of Voices and a production sound (courtesy of Steve Wray) that brings to mind what Metallica might have sounded like if they had crafted a direct follow up to the Black Album rather than head off in increasingly obscure directions, Soldierfield  are a hard-hitting melodic heavy metal band who are destined for big things if they can carry the quality of this awesome EP over into their planned 2013 full-length release.

A five track EP, ‘bury the ones we love’ is a non-stop tour-de-force of brutal riffs, pile-driving percussion and Leigh’s gritty, melodic vocals. It is hard to believe that this is a debut release so unfathomably confident is the band’s sound and delivery, and the quality doesn’t dip for a second over the EP’s twenty-five minute run time. Opening with the title track, we’re treated to a haunting keyboard refrain set to a martial drum beat before a monumental riff (welcome guitarist Andy Trott- a one-man riff-machine) comes crashing in and we’re off into pure heavy metal territory, all blood, thunder and passion. With hints of Metallica, Pantera and Machine Head woven into their sonic tapestry, it is Leigh’s gutsy vocal performance that demands attention and it’s immediately clear that Soldierfield have a chemistry that makes them a special band indeed. ‘Feel alive’ opens with a staggering riff that gets the adrenalin flowing whilst Leigh’s ever-melodic vocals soar over the top. It’s brilliantly vital music, thrilling and graced with a melodic edge that guarantees that no matter how heavy the riffs, it is the tune that will stay with you long after the disc has finished. ‘Leave you in dirt’ has a brutal riff underpinned by a furious double-kick-drum beat that takes it into vicious neo-thrash territory, the guitars grinding with real weight on what is arguably the heaviest track on the EP, hints of machine Head and Strapping Young Lad shot through the brutal mix whilst the heavily layered vocal melodies add a touch of sweetness that keeps it memorable without distracting from the song’s fundamental heaviness. Yet there is much more to Soldierfield and an odd quasi-orchestral interlude takes the song into unexpected, yet exciting, territory.

Having thoroughly impressed, the band maintain momentum with ‘skyflower’, an acoustic-led mood piece that adds depth and contrast to the EP and shows off the band’s pristine song writing skills on a song that recalls the beautifully melodic softer excursions of alt-metal titans Filter. Final track ‘the path’ closes things with some brilliantly harmonised guitar riffs crashing out with extra ferocity thanks to the contrast with the previous track for a brutal song that recalls Testament at their most melodic. It is a thrilling, sweat-soaked end to an EP that demonstrates a band with phenomenal potential and every song is an absolute belter.

Soldierfield are, without doubt, a band to watch. This EP is a confident, well-written, brilliantly played and recorded effort that feels like the work of a well-honed and experienced band despite the fact it is the band’s first official release. A furious, exciting work of metallic genius, ‘Bury the ones we love’ is an essential release that will have you bouncing off the walls with fierce excitement.

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