The fact that Faultlines describe themselves as a ‘melodic metal’ band as opposed to a ‘metalcore’ band is telling. It shows that, clearly, even the bands are getting as bored of the tag as the music-buying public, and are looking to market themselves as something different. It’s certainly a clever promotional tactic, and it could work, as Faultlines are one of the better ones the new crop has to offer.
Though Faultlines’ brand of metalcore on this debut EP doesn’t do a whole lot to break the mold, these five tracks show their take on the genre as tighter and better constructed than most new bands have in a long time. Looking beyond the fact that the guitars are heavy in their own right without having to rely on over-egged breakdowns, there are subtleties that make All We’ve Ever Known stand out, like synths that actually add depth on opener Buried, or the slick melodies that come from the alt-rock influences of Weathered Bones.
But the most prominent weapon in Faultlines’ arsenal comes in the form of dual vocalists Christina Rotondo and Jake Noakes. While Noakes’ guttural screams are what drive this EP through its heavier moments, it’s Rotondo’s clearly Britrock-flavoured cleans that send the band further from generic metalcore fodder, with the melodic atmosphere in the likes of Voices allowing her to really shine. In truth though, both vocalists are really what make this EP tick; the ever-wearisome scream-sing-scream formula is turned on its head with the integration of both styles, and even when the trade-offs aren’t at their best as on Call Me Home, there’s still a potency and intricacy that benefits them.
It’s certainly promising that Faultlines are getting it this right this early on. All We’ve Ever Known is by no means perfect – it still wears its influences a bit too prominently on its sleeve – but there’s absolutely nothing here that can’t be fixed with a bit of time for Faultlines to hone their attack. If the search for metalcore’s great white hope is still afoot, Faultlines may be exactly what we’ve been looking for.
For fans of: Eyes Set To Kill, Bury Tomorrow, The Amity Affliction
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘All We’ve Ever Known’ by Faultlines is released on 15th April.