'The Root Of Man'
One of the UK's best breaking bands are preparing to make their mark in 2016 with the release of their highly anticipated debut album. Hailing from the notorious "murder capital of Britain" (allegedly), the sleepy town of Boston, Lincolnshire, come the apocalyptic nu-metal mob Anti-Clone.
The band were formed back in 2013 and wasted no time in grabbing audiences by the scruff of their necks and laying waste to stages across the UK and Europe during which they also found time to record and release their debut EP, 'Hands Sewn Together'. Following a hugely successful Pledge Music campaign (and a little extra help from Plastic Head Distribution) this quintet are quite literally stepping up to the plate to deliver their frankly stunning debut album 'The Root Of Man'.
Produced by Matt Hyde (Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine) at Perry Vale Studio in London, the opus is a fifty five minutes, eleven track blend of raw energy crossed with immense song writing and musicianship which creates a unique and thoroughly cohesive/entertaining album.
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Title track 'The Root Of Man' has a quiet but atmospheric intro that lasts just over ninety seconds. Bass player Mike Bradbury leads the way until the relentless guitar riff comes in which is swiftly followed by the gruff vocals telling the listener: "The root of man is evil; the root of man is sin", which seems to be a theme scattered throughout the album. The guitar takes over as the track merges into 'Deracinated' which starts off with a brisk place but soon develops into a slower tempo number. Front man Peter Moore puts in a really good performance here, as he goes from a more traditional singing style to an aggressive vocals style, whilst all the time the guitar underpins the whole track.
The aggressive vocal style drops in an out of the album as Peter Moore proves time and again what a talented vocalist he is. The dark and murky overtones of the album make it difficult to see the light in these songs but then again, not everything always has to be upbeat and happy, does it? 'Switchblade' is one of the most aggressive number on the whole album, and there's no intro to ease you in as the song blasts out. The short stabby lyrics work well within the confines of the track and the mix of vocals and vocal styles gives this a somewhat unique sound.
Drummer Drew Moore shows quite a bit of skill in tracks like 'A Sight For Sewn Eyes' as he keeps a tight hold of the complex beat and during 'B9' too. For the former, the mid section is once again a mish mash of vocal styles as the softly sung vocals are in the foreground whilst there's some harsher vocals are kept very much in the background. The chorus section is simple enough and repeated so many times it can't fail but to remain in your head long after the tracks finished. For the latter, there's a whining guitar in the back of the mix for most of the intro before the track really comes to life with the vocals. Shrouded in effects it's sometimes difficult to make the actual lyrics out but it all adds up to another atmospheric track, and this mostly mid-paced number ended up being a firm favourite of mine.
Bradbury leads the way on 'Twisted Neck' with his thundering bass lines that merge seamlessly with the guitars during the intro before a simpler vocal performance from Peter Moore that ingratiates itself to the listener, but this ain't no ballad as the backing vocals add menace to the track and its inconsistent drum beat once again shows Drew Moore's raw talent. 'Mechanical Heart' is a more upbeat number during the guitar intro which seems to last interminably long before the vocals finally come in. What seems to be a straightforward vocal, however, soon becomes a mix between cleanly sung lines against the ferocious death metal growling and in the middle of all this is a short piano piece. It's certainly a mix of styles, but it kind of all works within the confines of the song.
For me, the most accessible numbers here are 'Comaspace' and album closer, 'Sentinel'. With the former, it's certainly the least aggressive track here by some way with a long and rather light and upbeat guitar intro and this pretty much sets the time oft the song. The lyrics aren't necessarily that most upbeat, but the track is slightly abstract as it drifts along with another outstanding vocal performance. Of course it does have a touch of the death metal vocals later on so it's not the radio friendly hit that maybe you were expecting when it started!
With 'Sentinel' the band have chosen an epic number to close with. Coming in at around seven minutes, it really is the crowning glory of the album. From a slow paced piano and whispered vocals to the more aggressive vocal style, everything seems to be packaged up within this one track. Having listened to the album for a fortnight there's so much going on and so many different styles all crammed into these eleven songs that sometimes it's a bit overpowering but my advice is to stick at it because there are some truly astounding moments here.
You can see the lyric video for 'Mechanical Heart' here:
'The Root Of Man' Track Listing:
The Root Of Man
A Sight For Sewn Eyes
Feed The Machine
Anti Clone are:
Peter Moore – Vocals
Conor Richardson – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Liam Richardson – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Mike Bradbury – Bass Guitar
Drew Moore – Drums