If you’re on the lookout for big, heartfelt metal anthems then emerging London rockers Greyhaven will be just the ticket with their exciting brand of almost emo-infused metal meets rock sound.
Originally started by mutual friends a few years back, the band developed as they started taking things more seriously to the point of current outfit Sam Paterson (vocals), Alex Hills and Adam Sutherland (guitars), Jack Hudson (bass and vocals) and Connor Tate (drums).
While many metal bands we speak to are keen to put as much distance as possible between themselves and ‘pop music,’ Greyhaven are more than keen to embrace it in a style they describe to us as “heavy arena rock.” As Alex explains: “We’re basically a blend of the stuff your parents don’t want to listen to and the stuff that you hear on the radio. A lot of big hooks and thought out instrumentation, but there’s a lot of aggression there as well!”
The band’s latest EP Breathe, released in January, is a perfect demonstration of this diversity, combining big metal tracks with lighter, more anthemic moments.
It opens up in an exciting manner with grandiose opening track Truth, which kicks off with a low-tuned guitar intro and pounding cymbals that develop into a bigger hit of guitars and big bass drums. A big atmospheric verse follows, then drops into a singalong chorus with big layers of vocals.
When We Divide opens with a cool floaty guitar riff that feeds into a heavier metal intro then Sam’s big vocals “She doesn’t understand why her mother cries alone in bed tonight, As seconds creep by she’s losing sight of… She’s feeling alone tonight for the first time” over palm-muted guitars. The vocals are impressive and there’s a cheeky little guitar solo thrown in before building to a big singalong ending.”
Then Crows – which I suspect has taken some inspiration from Game of Thrones, with references to “wind blowing in from the north” and the line “because when winter comes the dead will rise” – opens up with a big burst of guitar chords under a synthy noise. It then drops into an opening verse of drawn-out vocals “It’s too late, The crows have left their nest in search of warmer days, The wolf cries into the night sky” then builds into a big scream that leads into the chorus. A heavier second verse follows, pushed forwards by driving drums and ends on big screamed vocals that lead into another singalong chorus. Drawn out vocals “Can you see any hope for us” are supported by gradually building guitars then a big guitar solo ahead of a final smash of the chorus. This track perfectly summarises the ‘heavy arena rock’ sound the band are aiming for, and it’s probably the best song on the EP.
The EP closes out title track Breathe, which opens with a slow, mellow intro that feeds into a laid-back opening verse and gradually builds into a singalong rock track. Check it out in the cool video featuring a ballerina below:
On the EP, Alex said: “The reception has been incredible, we’ve been really humbled by a lot of the feedback we’ve received. I think old school fans might have been a bit surprised by some of the direction of the music but it doesn’t seem to have deterred anyone. If you haven’t heard it yet we’d describe it as being very ‘Arena’ metal sounding, a bit of a mix of 30 Seconds To Mars, Alexisonfire and Bring Me The Horizon vibes.”
The band’s roots are deep in metal and rock from the likes of Queen and The 1975 to Rise To Remain, Trivium, Meshuggah and Linkin Park, while also taking influence from pop, soul, hip-hop and even elements of classical. And if you check out their 2016 debut record State of Mind then you’ll hear those much heavier influences come to the fore more prominently than on Breathe.
The latest EP may only be a couple of months old but Greyhaven are already busy writing new music ahead of recording with Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me The Horizon, Lower Than Atlantis, Kids In Glass Houses), which Alex tells us is making good progress. He said: “It’s going really well! We’re heading into the studio in April with Romesh to record a few tracks, and we know it’s very cliché but it’s definitely the best stuff we’ve written yet. We’re not massively sure on a release date but likely sometime later this year.”
The band go out on tour this week with As Everything Unfolds, with whom Alex stood in on guitar at ProgMetalMadness last month. The exciting sounding tour begins at Suburbia in Southampton tomorrow night (15 March), the Scream Lounge in Croydon on Friday (16 March), a St Paddy’s Revenge night at The Hairy Dog in Derby on Saturday (17 March), and the Wheatsheaf in Banbury on Sunday (18 March). They then have a return to London at 229 The Venue and a gig in Mansfield next week, so there’s plenty of chances to see them live. More info on all their upcoming gigs is here.
Alex told us: “We cannot wait for this one, the AEU lads are really good mates so it’ll be fun to spend some time on the road with them! People should expect questionable fashion sense and banging tunes in our set. We’ve made sure to tailor the set to what our fans say they like, so hopefully it’s a crowd pleaser.”