Release Date: Out Now
Label: Self Released
Review by John
Imagine, if you will, taking Tool and Deftones, sticking them in a juicer and extracting all the worst, most self indulgent twaddly bits, and then mixing the leftovers together before adding a healthy dose of Alice In Chains.
Such a heady musical brew would not be a million miles away from the sound of ‘Monsters’ the opening track on the debut release from Merseyside rockers REYA. With crunching guitars, thumping bass and some beautifully harmonic vocals, ‘Monsters’ brilliantly walks a fine line between hauntingly melodic and mind bendingly heavy, with an undeniable post grunge flavour to the whole thing. As well as being an impressive track in its own right, it serves as a fine taster for what is to come.
‘Home’ is up next, and is a mellowed out slice of alternative rock which wouldn’t sound out of place on the aforementioned Alice In Chains’ ‘Jar Of Flies’ EP. It’s a track that engages the listener on an emotional level, and sends the soul soaring every time it explodes into the almost bombastic chorus. However, just as you think you have the measure of it, ‘Home’ erupts into the heaviest of finales, with Scott Travis given a good opportunity to shine on guitar.The ambient rock feel initially continues on ‘This Abyss’, but things soon head off in an altogether heavier direction, while never losing track of the emotional heft that, by this point, REYA are proving that they have in spades.
The far from serene sound of ‘Serenity’ transports the listener back to a time when flannel shirts ruled the musical Earth with a sound straight from the heyday of Grunge, but all given that extra bit of REYA polish. With frontman Ian Lamb given ample opportunity to showcase his silky smooth yet somehow ever so gravelly tones, it’s another high quality track.
Title track ‘Sunrise’ slows things down and goes straight for the heartstrings, whilst deftly avoiding all the usual cliches that are found when rock bands get emotional. As it builds towards its thunderous climax, you start to realise that REYA are a band that are pretty much impossible to pigeonhole.
Things come to a close with the beautifully haunting sound of ‘Land Of No Return’, as Lamb pours his heart and soul into a genuinely moving and emotional closing track. Proceedings end in a cacophony of sound, by which point you are left with the sense of having just encountered something very special indeed.
As a first release, ‘Sunrise’ is a remarkable statement of intent from a band laying down a clear marker. Ignore this at your peril.
3. This Abyss
6. Land Of No Return
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/REYABand