Guest Reviewer: Matt Dickinson
Shields are a 5 piece metal outfit from North London, formed in 2012. Since their most successful video was uploaded in late 2013 (‘I Just Feel Hate’) it has received 463,000 views – a feat which put the band on the radar and led to tours with big name bands such as Suicide Silence, Born Of Osiris & Betraying the Martyrs – as well as supporting slots with Chelsea Grin. Since then the band have been trying new sounds and writing to put this ep together. Sam Kubrick (vocals + guitar) says the Guilt is honest and open with deep topics like addiction and relationships covered.
Guilt kicks off with ‘I’ve Dealt With Worse’ a track that slowly builds in atmosphere until the 44 second mark, then it hits you full on with brutal guitars and vocals. There’s clearly a sense of fury and heaviness here, yet it is intertwined with a well crafted understanding and use of more melodic elements. Second track ‘No Hope’ is a particularly brutal affair yet it still has room for the melodic vocals in parts that blend nicely and make the EP more accessible, and give it more depth than it just being an all out assault.
Title track ‘Guilt’opens with brutality and carries on that way – hitting you with harsh vocals from the start, it’s a pacey and punchy track that highlights the ability of this band to take a less subtle approach. Main single ‘Jordan’ is a more melodic affair – sounding like it wouldn’t be out of place on an Architects record. Closer ‘But This Feels Worse’ starts out slowly and builds into the more brutal side of the band; possibly the ideal way to showcase what it is they do well.
For me this Guilt is a well polished EP that does an excellent job of mixing brutality with melody – something I am certainly a fan of. I’ve had it on repeat all morning and it gets better everytime, with new things jumping out at you with each listen.
Guilt is an 8.5/10 for me!
For fans of: Architects, Counterparts, Up River
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