Those Once Loyal are a local band to Overtone and have been plugging away at the local heavy scene for a few years now, gaining more and more of a fanbase with each passing day. And they deserve every single fan, with their fantastic live shows and awesome studio work. The band just last week put out their brand new EP, and we couldn’t not cover it. So, join us in checking out what we thought!
The opening track is a slow, clean intro that builds and sets up the rest of the tracks perfectly. It reminds me of the opening of Machine Head’s post-Supercharger albums, opening on that perfect calm before the storm. It’s awesome.
The title track opens on a great metal/deathcore riff, it opening out with an amazing drumbeat and a short but sick lead guitar line. The scream comes in over the top, sounding brutal and adding so much to the track. It fits perfectly and, while harsh, also still has a slight melodic element to it when the lead guitar line comes back for the chorus. The breakdown callout was awesome, as was the sludgy, evil-sounding breakdown. My god do I want to be in a pit for that.
A fantastic extended guitar solo follows and was honestly one of the high points of the EP. It’s not often stuff this heavy and hardcore gives the guitars space to solo and breathe, and it worked perfectly here. We also get a reprisal of the breakdown to close the track after a final chorus, and it rounds off a fantastic heavy track. I see why it was the lead single, and it easily makes our playlist!
A great drumbeat opens ‘Re-Birth’ before an almost Megadeth-like quick guitar riff comes in over the top. The track drops into a phat riff before the metalcore stuff returns behind the verse screams. It works perfectly, keeping everything bouncy. It fills out, having an almost epic feel through the choruses thanks to the guitars, and the final line of the chorus is catchy as anything, it’ll go down a storm live. The riff after said chorus is awesome too. The structure of the track is really interesting too, though that may just be me getting a little lost as I don’t know the genre massively well. I just sat back and enjoyed the awesome track through the various different parts in all of its glory. It of course has a good breakdown in there, but for me the riffs and the ‘This is a re-birth’ line are the highlights.
Closer ‘Second Hand Smoke’ is a track that I had already checked out for our reaction series on YouTube (still editing the video so will link it once it’s out!). All I can say is wow. This is my favourite track on the EP, and for very good reason! From the melodic hardcore verses to the surprisingly catchy choruses and THAT breakdown, everything about it is awesome. If you’re into the heavier side of music, check this out immediately, as you’ll love it!
Overall: This was fantastic. It’s not often I get the chance to do an in depth review of something this heavy any more, and it helps that it is really fucking good too. All three main tracks were awesome, and they worked perfectly as a whole with ‘Into the Cycle’. A band that should be a lot bigger than they are,b ut have the potential to breakout massive off the back of this.
The Score: 8.5/10