12/04/2014

CD Review: Heartlay - Injection EP

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Short introduction

Heartlay is an Alternative/industrial rock band incorporating elements from Industrial rock, Alternative metal, modern electronics and Progressive rock. All the songs are completley conceived and performed by French multi-instrumentalist Aaron Sadrin, writing all the music, from intense vocal melodies to heavy guitar hooks, sonic experimentations, and modern influenced soundscapes. Brought up on piano, switching to guitar, and now, vocal interest has transformed and opened up these visions of music as a whole, without any limits.

The debut EP "Injection" has been released in November 2014.

(c) by Heartlay, used with kind permission

Summary / Player / Download Link

This five track EP contains a very dedicated, unique piece of music with very intensive atmosphere and many, many chilling moments. I love this epicness of the style and sound!

The whole record comes in a very powerfull soundscape. It's from the very beginning up to the last track a very intensive listening feeling you'll have. Somehow it reminds me of a journey - it starts at a very loud beginning, then a lot of things happen which will see you reaching many highs and lows until you reach the end which is a set in a bit more silent way but the last notes give hope that this wasn't the last bit we've heard from the band. I hope the journey can be continued some day!

The sound is set in Rock music style and on various points even Heavy Metal elements come in. Nevertheless you'll hear that it doesn't come along packed in a traditional sound but with a lot of modern ways to produce such a record. Also I'm coming personally from the old-school days I like this modern approach. It brings in a lot of fresh air to the world of Rock music and innovation often comes along with experimentation not with staying the same way all the time in my opinion. It's also very diverse so it won't get boring, the tempo and mood changes quite often in each song.

The record has been set up as a free download on Bandcamp. Since you can name the price for the EP on Bandcamp it would be nice if you could give something back for what you've taken. You know making music ain't free so please consider this. Thanks! The download option on Bandcamp also let's you choice the format and quality. All the fines loseless music file-options this site offers are available with this EP,too.

If you want to keep a eye on what's further going on in the Heartlay cosmos make sure to follow the band on Facebook or have a look from time to time on their official website which also holds more links to other social accounts the band has a presence opened up for.



Track-by-Track Review

1.See You Under
Some soft guitars play some notes before a constant hard and heavy drum pattern gives the track the push movement forward. Haunting, spoken and distorted vocals add a lot to the atmosphere. The refrain kicks in with very dominating vocals and harder guitars. It feels a bit like a phoenix rises from the ashes.
This scenario grows even further as the six-strings go over into a heavy and hard riffing attack which is pushed by a double-bass drum part which makes this the blast part of the song. A slower part follows up which gives some time to breathe before some more intensive but slightly cleaner vocals lead the song back to the heavy style. The drum pattern from the very beginning comes back towards the end of See you under bringing this one to a slow but great ending. A great first track!

2.Leave Them All Behind
A very dark and heavy hitting riff along with pushing drums opens this one up. The tone is very raw and direct. A little change comes in with the vocals. It gets over to a bit more riff- and rhythm-oriented song before a blasting refrain kicks back in again which ends up in the raw tone of the beginning again.   The second verse and chorus go in the same way as the first did but the refrain comes in even more handy which makes this track ringing in your ears for quite some time after you've heard it. The solo section comes a bit softer around playing with the previous elements of melody and riffs in various ways. The refrain is repeated and the riff-hacking part comes back to life. The end reprises the maintheme and refrain and end with distorted guitars abruptly ending the track.

3.It Comes Alive
High peak six-strings open this one up before some softer vocals give a haunting chill to this piece of music. Set in a bit more midtempo structure this one plays around a lot with the various tones and effects of the guitars. While the first half features some vocals they are left oft the second half which goes even further into experimenting with raw and hard noises. This one needs a repeat to get fully through the complex song structure.

(c) by Heartlay, used with kind permission


4.Hidden
Haunting and chilling fearfull vocals open up this one. The refrain offers a tight, bright wall of sound. This has a strong effect on the listener. The following part feels much more frail and intensive after this treatment. A constant played melody brings back the intense atmosphere from the beginning but in a bit softer way. Then a sharp cut surprises the listener - some piano notes come to life making the follow up instrumental section to a very special one. It mixes up the previous used elements along with some riffs to end up in another sound explosion. Another sharp cut and very soft and slow notes bring this excellent piece of music towards the end. A very special gem, a must listen to all the music lovers out there!

5.White Walls
Ghostly drums start this one. Beautifull, soft notes jammed in with harder piano pieces build a very strong piece of sound again. Some drum variations along with some last guitar vibrations end this EP in a soft but very decent way. 

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