EP Review: F.O.E.S - 'Antecedence'.
Before I start, it's important to understand a few things. Firstly, I'm not a music buff. I don't know what genres and sub-genres are what, be it glitch-dance, cellocore, pre-prog fusion or a genre that actually exists, I couldn't tell you one from another. Secondly, most of the new music I hear is on Radio 1. The selection of radio stations on my journey to work is limited and the only station that holds a signal the whole way is Radio 1. Begrudgingly I listen through wave after wave of auto-tuned tripe mainly for something to cover the sounds from the hole in my exhaust that I really should get fixed. Lastly, I'm a vocalist; the initial thing I tend to hear when listening to a piece of music the first time is the vocal melody and the lyrics. Everything else comes later.
After the first listen through Antecedence I was left feeling like F.O.E.S (Fall of Every Sparrow) have really tried to reach out to the listener through this EP. They have clearly poured a lot of themselves into the music and the lyrics in order to give you the experience of their journey. All-round the band are great technicians, but not to the point of being clinical; there is emotion in each guitar lick; heart in every beat of the drums. The vocals convey the lives that got F.O.E.S to this point.
'Rival Thrones', 'This is Kingdom Come' and 'Crown Antler' are pounding, progressive pieces that have me wanting to pump my fist, open up a mosh pit, then stand in the middle of it for a moment to soak up the swirling calmness the breaks them up.
'No Sleepers Verse', the first video release from this EP, begins relaxed and melodic, subtly building for four to become an anthemic triumph. It all drops away, reflecting on the themes throughout the rest of the song to draw to a close. The last track on the EP, 'El Penumbra', draws from singer, Chris Mackrill's battle with life-changing experiences, bluntly highlighted near the close of the track as the music drops out, leaving only the vocal line – "My life's been shadowed in the wake of a disease."
'Antecedence' is altogether an introspective collection of music, but not so self-focused that it remains relatable to the listener. What FOES have produced is honest, heartfelt and provoking. This is one of the most exciting EPs I've heard in a while.
EP review by Samuel J. Hylands.