Reclamation is the new EP from metalcore quintet Sworn Amongst. The metalcore scene is seeing a large amount of releases which begs the question, will Sworn Amongst stand out with this EP?
Enslaved provides a dramatic opening with a delicate clean guitar lead supported with atmospheric synths. There is brutal disturbance to this serene sound with powerful harsh vocals, full sounding distortion tones and strong, dynamic drums. The guitars carry a significant weight of the sound – the depth achieved in the tone enhances the power of the vocals and other instruments. This gives an explosive effect to the track. The contrast of clean and distorted sounds from the beginning of the track return with the inclusion of clean vocals. The soft but powerful sound of the cleans soars above the heavy distortion bringing another level of interest to the track.
This power continues throughout the EP. Delusional has an incredibly dark and heavy sound. The slower tempo brings the focus into the accenting guitar motifs and the interesting rhythm patterns featured in the guitars and drums. The harsh vocals appear particularly dark – the low tone really blending with the instrumentation. The transition to a cleaner, lighter sound plays again with contrasting ideas. The opposing tones and textures break up the continuous heavy texture. The dissonant guitar leads of Believe provide variety in the tonality of the EP. The vocal lines for both clean and harsh follow this darker tone in parts which effectively unites the two styles. This enhances the overall dark atmosphere of the track. Three tracks into the EP and each one has its own sound and direction. Sworn Amongst are really giving variety in this EP showing they are not a generic metalcore band with one sound repeated through all of their tracks. The dissonant breakdown is placed excellently in the track, bring it to a close in the most dramatic manner.
The Cleansing has the air of a more traditional metalcore track. The harsh vocals really take center stage in this track. The layering really enhances the power behind them. The chorus featuring clean vocals has a catchy melody line. This fits surprisingly well without sounding cheesy or out of place. However, it would be good to see more experimentation with the clean vocals. They feature predominantly in the chorus across the tracks on the EP and by track four, it begins to feel that this positioning is all that can be done with them. Set This World Alight does bring in an edgier tone to the cleans which certainly aids the overall feel of this very powerful track. The guitar lines ascending in the chorus give an uplifting feel to this section which contrasts well with the heavy texture and low tones of the verses and breakdown. Ending the track with fading out synths gives a cyclical nature to the EP.
Sworn Amongst have delivered a strong EP. They are clearly competent musicians and songwriters who are capable to establishing their sound in different styles throughout their tracks. With further development as they continue to grow in the metalcore genre, they could finally become ones to watch.
For fans of: Monuments, Sylosis, Parkway Drive
Words by Holly Royle
‘Reclamation’ by Sworn Amongst is out now on Famined Records.