Always The Quiet Ones - Drought & Ghost In The Filament
By Larry Day
Releasing 'Freak Show' over the spring to critical acclaim, including nods from XFM and Kerrang!, Liverpudlian alt-metal five-piece Always The Quiet Ones are quick to churn out a new double A-side. The group have solidified their reputation with explosive support slots for Deaf Havana and Fighting With Wire, performing manic shows drenched in their signature hysterical riffs and furious vocals from resident howler Blas Barragan Jr.
'Drought' stalks in, an axe-led behemoth with eerie synthesizers underpinning the standard metal fare. Hints of prog-metal legends Dream Theatre and Tool are heard, and the epic nature of the track unfolds clearly as 'Drought' progresses - there are points where the track bleeds an almost 'pop' sound, something easily accessible, but there are moments of frantic fretwork which descend into utter darkness. Second cut 'Ghost In The Filament' already feels like a classic from the get-go, with galloping drums from stick-wielder James Lorenzo and hulking, chugging riffs from the duelling six-strings. It's heavy, it's hard-hitting and it's violent.
As with 'Freak Show', the release is clearly well-produced and showcases a mature sound well beyond the years of the fledgling rock troupe. Both efforts deliver a sensational dose of mayhem, but it's in 'Drought' where the band truly shines - the potent mixture of 90s prog-rock and angular lickage in the vein of Biffy Clyro make for a belter of a track.
You can strut into any dimly lit venue nowadays and more often than not, a generic metal band will be rocking away to a crowd of about six people. Only every once in a blue moon do a group rock so hard that they transcend the greasy pits and rise up into the big leagues - Always The Quiet Ones are one the cusp of leaving that pit (and yes, that's a Batman reference). With a mere handful of releases under their belt, ATQO are definitely overdue in giving their loyal fans something long and meaty to satiate their thirst. It's only a matter of time before these northern upstarts are emblazoned on the front of every glossy rock mag and the word on everyone's lips.