Overall Score: 7/10 Hooks: 7/10 Consistency: 8/10 Production: 6/10 Pros: Excellent melodies | Catchy hooks Cons: Stale production
A new part of the growing northern England metal scene, Leeds alt-metallers Dear Atria present an interesting proposition with their new self-titled EP, showing some excellent promise for the future with some fantastic melodic riffing and an Evanescence-esque taste for hooks.
Kicking off with “Illuminate”, the post-hardcore influenced alternative metal immediately throws in melodic riffs which immediately get caught in your head. Lead singer Danielle Wright reminds one of Evanescence’s Amy Lee with her vocal delivery as her voice soars over the pummelling guitars during the choruses. Guitarists Hayden Dobson and Matt Johnson have good chemistry, highlighted in track “Every Reason To” with the pair’s technical ability on show while the drums and bass back them up with little fuss.
If there’s one thing this band definitely has going for them, it’s their ability to deliver hooks. The choruses, particularly of tracks like “Every Reason To” and “Illuminate” are memorable and are sure to be great sing-along tracks in a live setting. The songwriting is versatile, moving from alternative metal into more gothic metal inspired segments at times, with atmospheric passages more regularly seen at the melodic end of post-hardcore (the clearest example of this being in closer “Self Destructive”) being ever-present.
The main thing that stops this EP from being great is the production. While everything is well placed in the mix and all is audible, the atmosphere and reverb around the music is stale and neutered, and makes the overall feel of the record somewhat lacking and difficult to fully immerse one’s self in, and it prevents the perhaps more hard-hitting heavier sections of the songs to really have the desired impact that we may see in live performances. However, production is a common problem with many new bands, and often much worse, and I would hope that in future releases this will become less of a problem. Even so, those who are less picky about production issues will probably not find anything to stop them from enjoying what is still a very good EP.
Overall, Dear Atria’s first offering provides a good look at where this band are heading, and with natural songwriting ability as obvious as this, expect them to do very well in the coming years.
Dear Atria’s self-titled debut EP is out now via bandcamp (self-released). You can follow the band on Twitter at @DearAtria.