Alter Eden - 'Tigers & Lambs' EP Review
1. Tigers & Lambs 2. Colourless 3. Resent/Relent/Repeat 4. Only Human 5. Count Your Sins 6. We’ve Had Enough
I'm always apprehensive about any band that falls into an "Alternative" genre. This is partly because I've always considered the term "Alternative" very vague, but it's mainly because if I had to associate someone with this broad genre, it would be bands like Alter Bridge and Shinedown. In short: it sets an extremely high precedent that a lot of bands simply cannot meet. I do believe that Alter Eden are a band that are capable of rising to the challenge, with their new EP "Tigers & Lambs" (set to be released on the 17th of February) showing some strong potential. That being said, Tigers & Lambs is not without it's pitfalls. This is the second EP from the Stoke-on-Trent based band and have recently just won 'Best Rock Act 2017' at the Staffordshire and Cheshire Music Awards (having been part of the Rock and Metal scene in Stoke for a few years, I can tell you now that they will have faced serious competition). It's evident from their social media presence and the production value of their music videos that these boys are no strangers to hard graft. When the EP title track kicks in with bass and drums, it piques your interest. It's a really solid start, led by Aled Roberts and Simon Whitney who obviously have a good dynamic for the rhythm section. When Nick Pilgrim kicks in with the vocals, my initial reaction was: "Holy shit, this lad has got some serious range!". This is an essential component for an Alt-Rock band, given the expectations I mentioned earlier. However, something wasn't quite right and as the song progressed, I started to pick up on some underlying issue that I couldn't shake throughout the rest of the EP. There are times where Pilgrim's vocals don't feel organic, with some vocal movements and tones coming across as a bit forced. This is not to say that he can't hit the note (far from it, the melody is catchy) but there's so much "attitude" thrown on it at times that I feel it detracts from how powerful the melody actually is. Riffs from Alex Coleman are solid, such as the pre-chorus in the EP title track. It's punchy, creating the perfect setup for a melodically 'epic-type' chorus that really stands out. However, I felt the underwhelming outro solo and abrupt ending didn't match up with the powerful start and middle of the track. It may be wrong of me to have expected some thick and fast fretwork that would make even Mark Tremonti blush, but given the strong ability of these musicians, I don't think it's wrong to expect a little more. My favourite tracks from the EP are 'Only Human' and 'Resent/Relent/Repeat'. The drums are consistent throughout, but I feel they stand out particularly in these tracks. Whitney places subtle fills at some really interesting points, which doesn't draw focus away from the vocals or guitars, but still reminds you that he isn't just knocking out a standard beat. Coleman and Roberts throw out riffs that make it difficult to keep any self respecting Metal fan's head still! However, the main reason that these are my favourite tracks is because I believe that they contain Pilgrim's strongest vocals on the EP. His range in 'Resent/Relent/Repeat' and the clarity he is able to maintain is utterly staggering and as a result, he has not overthought how he is singing certain lines. It seems like he was more focused on the challenge of getting to the note and staying on it that it created a more natural feel that I would like to see more of. In summary, Tigers & Lambs suggests the boys have some refining to do, but is worth a listen and I will be keeping my eye on them to see how they progress after this EP.
Stand out tracks - Only Human, Resent/Relent/Repeat
Check out their video for 'Tigers & Lambs'
Website - www.altereden.co.uk/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/alteredenuk/
Review - Cee Gregory