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EP Review: All At Your Mercy by Pleiades

Five-piece post-metal act Pleiades release their new EP All At Your Mercy on 31st May via AWAL. Recorded at HQ Recording Studio in Manchester and produced by Joe Clayton (Pijn, Leeched, Wren), and mastered by Brad Boatright (SUNN O))), Rolo Tomassi, Employed To Serve, Coldbones) at Audioseige Portland, Oregon.

Originally creating emotive instrumental soundscapes as a three-piece, the band held auditions for a vocalist to add an extra dimension. “We originally had people come in and sing Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Polaris’ but nothing quite clicked. When Andy (Calderbank) came in he was really up for having a go at one of the pieces we’d written and he just LET RIP! Honestly, I couldn’t stop smiling throughout. It was the combination of shouts, screams and his impassioned vocal style that caught our attention… We took him on straight away.”

Seeking to enrich their new sound and complete the lineup, the band enlisted the skills of Ryan Noble (guitar) an old friend of Andy’s, who brought greater depth, production and substance to the band, helping them to realise their vision and setting them on the path to writing their first record.

And my word is it good. Brace yourself for something special. Equal parts brutal and beautiful this is an EP that outshines what many bands do in their whole careers. You’d be forgiven for thinking of Deafheaven when opener ‘Lotus Tree’ kicks – those brutally heavy guitars and guttural vocals certainly go to that easy comparison – but it’s much more than that.

With ‘Ultra’ you get the real feel of what Pleiades are all about. The ambient opening is thrown away with a wall of guitars and that growling vocal, in amongst that theirs some delicate guitar parts and haunting vocal parts that give to an ethereal post-metal feel. ‘Alpha’ ups it another level with a euphoric post-metal opus and the band excel with their expansive range – it’s expansive in every way possible – just check out those guitar solos.

By now it is unsurprising that ‘Mesa’ is another track of the highest calibre and the track goes through various stages of experimentation before you get to final track and EP highlight ‘All At Your Mercy’. The devasting emotion and dynamics pushing the sound from one extreme to another is astounding and beautiful. This is essential listening.

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