(A+ artwork we’ve got up there, isn’t it?) Generally, when something is pitched to me using the terms “-core” or “groove”, or even worse… both, I turn away. Sorry world, but it just ain’t my thing. Metalcore is whiny, groove metal is repetitive, blah blah blah. So, to cut my rant off before it gets worse, I don’t really know what it was exactly that enticed me to spin the debut EP from Siderian titled Cancel Your Future. Yet eight months after its release date, I find myself enjoying this four song EP quite a bit. Certainly defined as metalcore with some groove influences to it, Cancel Your Future is a pretty catchy, quick to entertain debut EP from a band that has certainly shown some potential right off the bat.
Only forming March of 2015, Siderian is a Northampton-based metalcore/groove metal band that quickly gained traction as a result of CYF and a handful of shows across the pond. So it’s definitely been a busy year for Siderian and with CYF you certainly get a sense as to why. Now, as I mentioned, I’m not a metalcore fan these days. Sure the New England metal scene a decade or so ago was heavy on the stuff and I certainly had my appreciative fill of it, but those days have long since past. But there’s no denying the genre’s popularity around the globe, and what Siderian offers certainly is a quality sampling of many of the features that make metalcore as popular as it is.
For one, the production on Cancel Your Future is unquestionably impressive for an EP. The vocals — which offer harsher bellows and clean singing — sound overall crystal clear. Yeah, at times the clean singing is not as crisp as it could be on “(The) Small House”, but it still comes through well enough. From an instrumental standpoint, there is no graininess to the any aspect of it. The guitars are clear, the percussion whole, and for the most part it seems like the levels are balanced appropriately. The one thing I could say is that the kick could use a bit more bite. Just a little more punch to those elements would do wonders for the overall aggressiveness of this sound. Which, to be honest, seems to lack some angst at times. But overall, the production and sound is absolutely commendable. Regardless of this being a debut EP.
The songs themselves are just the right balance of catchy and progressive. Each track explores a number of lead and rhythm patterns, with even the shortest track, “Reduced Aisle”, never committing to one direction for too long. But at the same time, there is nothing too complex about any of it. While there are transitions in tempo and feel, it’s all cut from the same stone, making this an easy EP to get through — offering plenty of desire to repeat a few times over. For example, “Hell of a Week”, perhaps one of the heavier tracks on the EP, gets your foot tapping immediately and continuously throughout as melodic leads that are introduced during the chorus make this thing stick with you. Distinct time changes are virtually non-existent, however, which in all fairness is not a bad thing — as they allow the grooves that are brought into the mix to better develop from one passage to another. What I’m getting at is, this is exactly what you would be after in a metalcore album, and it’s done with quality song-writing and musicianship. Melodic, yet not overly so. Aggressive, but not whiny. And the songs are catchy, but not boring. It’s all good in my book.
So I’ll wrap this up as I started it. I don’t like metalcore. But I can understand its popularity and I absolutely see potential in Siderian with what they have created with Cancel Your Future. It’s not hard to see the momentum they’ve gained over the past year, and it’s even easier to see why. If you’re a fan of metalcore, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to appreciate in these four tracks. And if you’re not, hey, it’s only a 17 minute listen. What do you have to lose? From personal experience, I can say confidently that Cancel Your Future is worth checking out.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”
Cancel Your Future is out now. For more information on Siderian, check out the band’s official Facebook page.