Introducing: Core Of iO

One of the genres I’ve really enjoyed exploring over the last year or so is technical metal aka Tech-Metal, and south coast rockers Core Of iO are an intriguing example of this emerging genre.

The quartet met at a music college a few years ago and formed out of a desire to create interesting and well thought out compositions influenced by a wide array of music genres, pushing themselves to improve technically and creatively along the way.

As the band tell us: “The idea was to get a band together where we could all be creative, push our own abilities, play loads of shows and have fun!I think being involved with music in a band is something that gives us all purpose and motivation, essentially it’s a group project with your best mates!”

They’ve honed a dynamic technical metal sound that they describe to us as ‘intricate, powerful and intense.’ As the band put it: “We have progressive and technical elements in our music, but keep to a more traditional set up almost against the grain sticking to 6 string guitars, clean vocals, no backing tracks and we don’t really djent! There is a great array of talented bands in the UK tech metal community right now, we seem to have gravitated towards that scene where complex songs and technical wizardry are at the forefront.

“Technical metal is an ever evolving genre, its appeal for us is that so much thought and discipline goes into writing this sort of music, you are always finding new ideas and inspiration on multiple listens.”

This sound is epitomised by their latest EP Part II Europa, which was released earlier this month. It kicks off in fine style with excellent opening track Stuck, which opens up with a fun bouncy riff then a verse of vocals supported by a big bassline and intensifies as guitars enter and build up to a big singalong chorus supported by roaming, technical guitar riffs. The chorus ends on a big cry of “The winner takes it all, the winner frees their mind” then dives down into a mass of techy noise then big layered riffs. There’s a really cool section of really techy heavy riffs, wild drums and vocals before one final blast of the chorus.

Second track Hit The River Hard continues in the same vein, opening up with a fun guitar riff and big drum support and drops into a verse that gradually becomes more intense with almost screamed vocals over big bouncing riffs. The guitar proficiencies are the big focus on this track, there’s some really cool winding bursts of riffs throughout.

The pace drops a little for the mellow opening to epic 9:28 long final track Lenuta, with light repeating riffs supporting laid-back vocals through the first verse. Drums kick in as the vocals intensify and the guitars become heavier, then suddenly theres a burst of big guitar chords and the vocals become tense and end in a big cry. It drops down into a more mellow chorus then picks up the pace again with some fun building guitars that flow into more shouty vocals. Big bouncy riffs follow as the more heavy tech metal side emerges and the contrasting styles continue throughout this huge ending to the EP.

The band draws influences from the likes of Faith No More, Dillinger Escape Plan, Karnivool, which comes across in spades on this excellent EP, and, in terms of what inspires them to write music, the band tell us: “It just happens! It’s a challenging and fun process, and seeing it through to the end product makes it all worth it. Key themes are generally personal experience and life in general.”

The band has just wrapped a tour with Vrona and have already begun work on their next release. The band adds: “When we play we like to have fun and welcome a heckle or two! We don’t use any gimmicks so what you see is what you get a with us – no backing tracks, laptops etc.. Booking for next year already so if any promoters are reading this hit us up!”

Part II Europa is out now and available from the band’s website and on Spotify. You can follow Core Of iO on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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