So you like metalcore riffing and the blast beats? You love the aggression and technical chops, but you can’t stand the Cookie Monster vocals (as The Meister would say). Unparalleled Height (UPH) have the answer (as did the late great Affiance) – get a fantastic singer in and utilise the growling sparingly!
From the outskirts of Pittsburgh, these guys have released possibly my favorite EP of the year, so far. This EP is made up of five tracks of absolute gold. Each bar of each song is worth a gold bar. I love it! Yet, they remain unsigned at the moment – a damning indictment of the current state of the music industry…How??
The band is made up of David Kelly (Vocals), CJ Masciantiono (Guitar), Marshall Boy (Bass) and Brandon Fandel (Drums).
The vocals of Kelly are awesome – somewhere between Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. The guitar playing of Masciantiono is virtuoso (I have viewed his play through videos) and the drumming of Fandel is complex and powerful. The bass playing of Marshall Boy reminds me of Korn‘s Fieldy with its booming and rattling bottom end.
As a rather jaded rock fan, it makes me super stoked when a band comes along and blows away the clouds. UPH are that good. 2017 is turning out to be a great year for metal and this release sits up there with the best.
The band kick off the EP with the supersonic shuffle of “Through The Gates“. The door is opened with riffy guitar and booming drums. Then Kelly opens his account with a larynx made of pure platinum. This guy is a star in the making. If Kelly is the MVP, Masciantiono is not far behind – his solo scorches hotter than a vindaloo curry. This song is great and also retains some modern day metalcore growling to keep it contemporary.
“The Enemy Within” references prime Megadeth in its technical riffage (shades of “Holy Wars“). The song is great, with some memorable gang vocals.
Top of my picks though is the third song, “Embrace The Storm“, which would nestle nicely on any great Iron Maiden album. The harmony guitars cut shards of glass from the air and it is a barnstormer.
“World War III” gives social meaning to their music, with news commentary opening up to growling vocals. The tune grinds big time and has somewhat of a Groove Metal feel until the chorus breaks through in glorious technicolor.
The EP is closed out with the melodic Maiden-type killer track “Hereafter“. The melody is amazing and it seems to be a heartfelt reflection on death and the fleeting moments of life. The solo rips on this one too.
Phew! Pure metal, pure gold, pure class…’nuff said!