We’re unashamedly aware of the fact that we always bang on about how great the British metal scene is at the moment. But we only do so because there are so many great new metal bands out there to fuel it. The latest reminder of this is Manchester metalcore newcomers Clashmute.
The band have a heavy riff-based sound that, to me at least, sounds similar to German metalcore band Waterdown, whose third album I absolutely loved. Long story short – if you love big heavy metal riffs and gruff vocals, with, in their words, “mad drumming” thrown in for good measure, you’re going to absolutely love the sound of Clashmute.
The quintet of Ryan Reynolds (vocals, and no, not that one), Patrick Thomas and Mike Kent-Fox (guitars), Jordan Paterson (bass) and Sam Holmes (drums) started practicing together around March 2018 and played their first few gig in August of the same year. But they’ve had a busy first year as a band, finishing as runners-up in Manchester’s Metal 2 The Masses competition and releasing their debut EP.
As Jordan puts it to us: “Music started out as a hobby and some people say we are okay at it, so we just kind of kept going.”
Our first taste of what the band has to offer is August’s debut EP Transitions, on which they tell us they’re keen to get peoples’ honest opinion. As Jordan explains: “The reception has been fairly positive but there are definitely things we can work on. It’s a good thing though, we’d rather people give us pointers and constructive criticism than them just say they like it when they don’t.
“It’s good having music out there though. Once you have music out it’s so much easier for people to get an indication of what you’re about and, hopefully, give them a reason to check you out in more detail.”
And from what we can hear from the first EP there’s plenty of reason to check them out more. It kicks off in promising fashion with intense opening track Retribvtion, which opens up with a cool little riff over drawn-out guitars then dives back in under the guttural vocals of frontman Ryan Reynolds (no, not that one).
The first verse ends on a big drum roll then a huge bass drum smash brings in big doomy guitars, then a spinning little riff leads us into a heavy verse of thrashy guitars under Ryan’s vocals. Give it a listen below:
The heaviness steps up a notch with the lively opening to Out Of Time, with delicious fast little bursts of guitar over powerful drums, which soon drops into a big doomy section. I particularly enjoy the between the slow doomy sections and the lively fast-paced riff and more intense driving drums.
And if it’s all-out intensity then stay tuned for next track Infection, which starts off with fast-paced riffing then a thunderous crash doomy bass drum breaks things up. Mid-way through there’s a really cool little riff that appears out of nowhere, then gives way to huge low-tuned guitar chords and pounding drums under Ryan’s intense vocals. Check it out in their debut music video below:
Penultimate track Deadbeat takes off at breakneck speed with wild pounding drums under a lively riff, then drops into a little darting riff under Ryan’s heavy vocals. It eventually gives way to drawn-out low-tuned guitars then a heavy bassline and bass drum, which are joined by stabbing guitars and harmonic notes then a huge terrifying scream alongside two repeating guitar notes. It’s pretty much impossible not to bang your head along in appreciation throughout this unrelenting track.
The EP closes out with the amusingly named Requiem (For A Meme), which doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s probably my favourite track on the EP. A cool repeating riff kicks off then a low-tuned version of it, before another huge death-charing stomp of bass drum drops into djenty guitars under Ryan’s vocals.
A spinning little riff ending on harmonic notes tajes over, before another verse ends on a prolonged section of low-tuned doomy guitars and big crashing cymbals. It’s a highly enjoyable ending to a heavy, impressive debut EP.
Unsurprisingly, the band take heavy influence from the likes of metalcore and deathcore bands like Parkway Drive and Architects, while guitarist Mike is big into thrash like Evile and Machine Head and vocalist Ryan is into Limp Bizkit and our former New Band of the Week InVisions. So there’s a fairly wide mix.
On their sound, Jordan says: “We describe ourselves as Metalcore for the most part, but that term is very broad nowadays. We feel we currently have more in common with Metalcore bands from the mid 2000’s. We also like to give our drummer Sam the chance to showcase his abilities, so expect some mad drumming.”
And in terms of what inspires them to write music, Jordan explains: ” I wouldn’t say it’s a deliberate theme, but generally a lot of the lyrics are around loss. That and whatever takes our fancy at the time. One of our newer songs, Knee Ripper, got the name because it sounds more like a thrash metal song than anything we’d written previously, and it needed a name to fit that!”
You can see Clashmute for yourself alongside another of our former New Bands of the Week, Daybreaker, on 22 November at The Loose Cannon in Manchester. More info on that is here.
And, as Jordan says: “Come see us live and witness the proverbial bull in the proverbial china shop having a hell of a good time making lots of unsophisticated noise.”