Hailing from Stevenage, Dorylus have been active a comparatively short time (just over a year) and yet have already got it together to build a decent name for themselves on the live circuit (making it all the way to the Metal 2 the Masses area finals) and amongst the unsigned metal community. In an age where making an impact is harder than ever thanks to an information overload, Dorylus are doing it the old school way, focusing on writing decent songs and this effort showcases a band with plenty of ambition burning underneath the musical talent they have amassed.
Opening track, ‘eternal’, features dark and eerie synths in the vein of ‘gothic’ era Paradise Lost, the horror movie strings rising to a crescendo before giving away to the heavy riffs of ‘Desolation’. It’s admirable to see the band experiment with scene-setting in this way and it provides an atmospheric start to the EP. ‘Desolation is undeniably well played, and it’s easy to imagine this one going off like an atom bomb in the live environment, but the production, whilst clinical, lacks dynamic which lessons its impact somewhat. Nonetheless, whilst the EP may occasionally give away its budget origins, the quality of the music is impressive and it’s hard to avoid that familiar rush of adrenalin as the band lay down a bristling riff full of menace and aggression. Similarly fast-paced, ‘Deceiving the pure’ is a furious blast of savage metal with Joel Davies particularly impressive, his acid-seared vocal range dominating the track with a potent fury that is impossible to ignore. An EP highlight, ‘deceiving the pure’ is every bit the savage anthem its authors imagined and if the lyrical content is a touch over-familiar (“where are your gods now?”), it is sung with such conviction that it hardly detracts from the song’s overall impact. The excellently entitled ‘Icepick Lobotomy’ (sic) has a touch of Slayer amidst its relentless percussive assault (courtesy of drummer Mitch Cartwright) and churning riffs, whilst the multi-tracked vocals add another layer to the music. Heading off into Obituary territory, ‘Corporate pollution’ (featuring Joe Savage) is a devastating death metal blast that sees the band reach furious new peaks, implying that the old adage about saving the best for last is, in this case, absolutely true. With subtle synth underpinning the track and adding a touch of melody in a ferocious landscape otherwise blasted by riffs that twist and burn across the scorched earth, ‘corporate pollution’ is a stunning track and one that I could happily blast out on repeat for some considerable time to come. However, we’re not done yet and the EP concludes with ‘The rapture’, a heavy track that sees the band highlighting their old school metal roots with some impressive harmonised guitar work. Paired with the brilliant preceding track, ‘the rapture’ forms the knock-out blow that leaves the listener permanently floored, having borne witness to the might of the underground metal scene in all its glory.
Dorylus may not have been long active, but, if this is the quality that they can achieve after so short a time, they certainly have a bright (albeit possibly lit by the fires of hell) future ahead of them. Whilst the production is a touch thin in places, what shines through is the quality of the arrangements. Normally it’s tempting to qualify a review, saying something like “this is an excellent first effort”, but ‘the rapture’ needs no such qualification; the music here is first rate and gives the impression of being the work of a band with a much longer history. Despite a near endless stream of submissions (many of which, sadly, I never have the time to cover), I find myself endlessly impressed by the quality, the passion and the ambition of the music rising from the underground and Dorylus are a perfect example. Supporting the underground is essential if we don’t want to see the metal scene fall to its knees as the old guard hang up their guitars and so, if you’re a fan of metal, you owe it to the community at large to give bands as talented as Dorylus a shot. This is a fantastic effort and highly recommended.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/dorylusband/timeline