Ambitious and vivid, Nottingham subgenre-bending quintet The Five Hundred are keen to clock in and muck in. Debut EP ‘Winters’ combines passionate breakdowns with emotion-packed melodic clean vocals, offset neatly by savage screams.
Intense from the onset, the title track opener is crammed with soaring solos and tricksy fretwork evident of guitarists Paul and Andy’s raw talents, cauterised by vocalist John Eley‘s vitriol spitting, “Since when did this get so twisted?” The marching intro to ‘Come Closer’ plunges straight into hell-bent screams and the dominating presence of drummer Liam. A conflicted vocal playoff provides a voice for an epic internal struggle, swathed in a sorrowful melody before closing on an echo fading away.
The racing pace of ‘Shutter To The Light’ is remarkably professional, flowing seamlessly as if this lineup were born to play together, as assertive, enraged sticksmanship and impressively punchy fretwork shows their natural determination as artists in their own right. Combined with John’s captivating melodic chops, The Five Hundred have landed on a cracking formula.
Closer ‘The Cannibal Hordes’ takes a risk of life and death, bursting with livid gut-wrenching screams and an unexpectedly beautiful solo, clashing with the perfect chaos around it. Forging a soundtrack to a final fight scene and the consequent victory, their debut EP fades to black, belting right until the last second.
With coordination and expertise, The Five Hundred’s first outing has demonstrated that they won’t go quietly, and rightly so, if this is anything to go by.