“Unfiltered, Primal, Invigorating.” These are the words that new London band After Smoke Clears use to summarise their sound, swiftly followed by “relentless, energising and unapologetic.” So you’d be right in thinking they offer up something pretty damn heavy.
The quartet of Nick Hurford (vocals), Alessandro Legname (guitar), Aaron Dohnt (bass) and David Cau (drums) summarise the After Smoke Clears sound as: “Lots of groove, hard hitting bass and relentlessly harsh vocals that as an absolute minimum will get the listener motivated to move.” In other words, it’s fucking massive.
They released debut EP Disillusion last year, before following it up with mighty new single The Vine at the end of March. And this may well be their best work yet.
But, before we get into that, a bit of necessary background from the band on the track’s inspiration: “The song is about Nick’s personal experience on the psychedelic medicine Ayahuasca in the Amazon Rainforest. For those who want to know about the message and story behind the song, here it is:
“A search for meaning, and an insatiable desire for true connection with the earth. A momentary gaze behind the metaphysical curtain of reality. The Vine hammers home its message dominantly: the small sphere of reality we see in everyday waking consciousness is a fraction of what truly exists.”
The Vine opens up with an awesome bouncy guitar riff supported by big crashing cymbals and a distant hum of synth. A little bass riff jumps in before it launches into a barrage of brutal screamed vocals “Trepidation, Impatience, Fascination Deliverance” over the top of the returning opening riff. It’s one hell of a first impression.
The brutal vocals continue then drops into low-tuned chugging guitars under eerie whispery vocals “Drink the soul of the vine, Losing all sense of time, Reverse cultures wrath over me” then harmonic guitar notes and distant synth come in as the atmosphere builds. A big jumpy riff comes in under fast-paced, intense vocals then the opening riff takes over once more.
It’s a huge track and we absolutely love the booming riffs and intense vocals. On it, the band told us: “The feedback has been great so far. It’s a hard hitting and energising track. We made a great video for it as well, check it out on YouTube.” Check out The Vine in the video here:
And there’s plenty more where that came from on the band’s debut EP, including opening track Obsequious. Big eerie guitars and synth make for an atmospheric opening then drop into savage vocals over darting high-pitched repeating guitar that feeds into a huge chorus of “Down on your knees, You’re grounded by your own fallacies, Pathetic and weak, I see you down in the gutter you will never be free, Subordinate, To a broken man I look down at disgust, Obseqious, You are just a weak man I cannot trust.”
A big cry of “Obsequious” gives way to heavy guitars that feed into another verse of deliciously intense vocals. Check it out in the video below:
While Break The Cycle, also from the EP, features a disgustingly good breakdown as it draws to a heavy ending.
The band take influence from bands like Lamb Of God, Thy Art Is Murder, Northlane and Mastodon. And on their musical inspiration, they explain: “The message behind our upcoming album Edification is focused around self improvement and spiritual growth. It branches into themes such as the collective consciousness, metaphysics and psychedelic medicine.”
And there’s plenty more to come from with the aforementioned album and a brand new single Deterioration coming on Friday. Plus, they’ll be releasing a further four more singles through the rest of the year.
And the band add: “We’re making the most out of the isolation period by focusing fully on building up our online presence and expanding our audience to as many people as we can. Gigs are unfortunately off the table for the foreseeable future, but it will be worth the wait.”
We’re loving the sound of After Smoke Clears. If you’re anything like us, then their huge sound is exactly what we need during these irritating times of not being able to go out, let alone go to gigs. And it’s music like this that helps us stay sane and energised. So we firmly recommend going to give these guys a listen and getting hold of their new track this Friday (8 May).