Release: Empire EP
Area: Melbourne, Victoria
Date of Release: 22/03/19
Genre: Metalcore, Post-Hardcore
For Fans Of: Ocean Sleeper, Polaris, Pridelands, Diamond Construct
‘Time is on my side,
It's been healing me,
And I can see the light upon the ground.
Life is golden now,
It’s fulfilling me,
And my empire lifts me through the clouds.’ - My Empire
Just in case you didn’t already know, Melbourne metalcore group Windwaker are certainly an act who have become local heavy scene titans, having recently made opening spots for In Hearts Wake, The Brave and even Download Festival!! Needless to say, this is one band that you should absolutely be following in 2019 and their latest musical endeavour, ‘Empire’ showcases exactly why this is the case.
Kicking things off, ‘Reject’ begins the EP with a rather straightforward hard hitter, sure to grasp the attention of any heavy music fan. It starts with a tinge of nu metalcore in its gloriously groovy, killer riffage which leads into a short fury of blast beats, growls, and everything else we come to expect from a modern heavy banger! Despite its consistence in heaviness and dynamic, the focal point of each riff seems to shift from section to section; some moments greet the listener with pure, unbound filth and breakdowns, other moments deliver a more groovy and straightforward punch, and its choruses treat us to some melodic moments that are still equally heavy instrumentally. A great opening track and a solid way to introduce ‘Empire’!
The first single to drop from 'Empire' as well as its second track, ‘The Sitch’ was an immediate head turner for sure! Not only due to its clever social media marketing and eventual reveal, but also due to its strangely unique dynamics and excellent progression between them! It begins with an incredibly infectious and energetic guitar hook that borders between metalcore and funk, something I can’t say I’ve ever heard before. As the full ensemble hit, I knew this was going to be tune and a half, but what followed next was a surprisingly pop-infused verse that, in my honest opinion, can be convincingly compared to the likes of Sticky Fingers! Before long, the heaviness kicks back in (just in case you forgot you were listening to a metal band), and it’s done oh-so damn right! The rest of ‘The Sitch’ is chocked full of awesome and catchy chorus sections, breakdowns and rad fucking sweep picking! A total banger and the quintessential single choice for Windwaker!
What Windwaker seem to execute effectively on this release is a naturally occurring dramatic shift between contrasting styles. Where other attempts at this sort of thing may come off as forcefully experimental, on ‘Empire’ it just flows flawlessly as though there was no alternative way these songs should have been written, and that’s what makes 'Empire' so unique and so addictive throughout.
As ‘Empire’ continues, Windwaker further the exploration into their diverse sound. ‘Grey World’ starts off as a blatant soft spot; chilling ambience filling the sound amongst a distant, muffled drum kit and subtle vocoder vocals. This is followed by a loudly melodic chorus section and a sudden burst of straight metalcore fire that flows back into something resembling the song’s introduction. On the contrary, ‘Colourless’ is a track that retains a subtle vibe throughout its entirety; progressing with clean guitars, chilling soft vocals, and even some 80s-esque synth pads which lead into an epically melodic guitar solo to lead the track off into ominous ambience. Slapping you back into the heaviness, ‘Arrested’ is a straight metalcore banger and certainly one to be a crowd pleaser post-release!
Bringing the EP to a close is ‘My Empire’, an excellent track that fully displays Windwaker’s sonic amalgamation of heaviness, melodic contrast and poignancy. The song starts off with softly uttered lines and ambient synth leads that precede a huge, sublime hard rock chorus. It’s hella majestic! In addition, moments of sudden contrast see the texture thinning down to eerie clean guitars and menacing whispers, and before you know it, the band will drop a massive breakdown. All these elements come together effectively, creating a powerful tune and an emotional conclusion to an incredible EP!
Windwaker have blown my mind with this release, from the hard hitters ‘Reject’ and ‘Arrested’, to the more touching ‘Colourless’ and ‘My Empire’, to the awesomely creative ‘The Sitch’, "Empire" is an absolute killer EP and I feel that it will definitely push this group to new grounds! Please, take some time out of your day to give this thing a listen, because it is a beast!
You can stream or buy "Empire" here.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST)? 5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 10/10