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1. Total

2. Unconditional

3. Limited

4. Irresistible

5. Perseverance

West Texas is not the first place I think of when I am seeking out new Metal bands, but TULIP provides proof that I better start looking. This is another case of Facebook recommending a band to me, where I took the time to try and learn more. Colin Parrish wrote all the music on this debut EP while Ashleigh Semkiw wrote all of her lyrics. Stylistically, the band venture into the realm of Symphonic Metal with some groove to the beat. On this debut EP, they are not looking to rewrite the rule book but will make some people take notice.

‘Total’ gets us started with a very brief quiet interlude and features some symphonic elements mixed with what almost sounds like an Indian rhythm. Semkiw provides a nice twist with her vocals avoiding the extremes with an almost angelic quality that then allows her to pick moments to push her vocals in different directions. It almost reminds me of earlier Lacuna Coil without the male vocals. At just over 3 minutes, the song feels too short in some ways.

‘Unconditional’ features another cool rhythm and groove by Parrish with Semkiw providing some nice hooks throughout the song. I have noticed this song reveals more and more with each listen. It has settled in as my favorite at this point.

Up next is ‘Limited’ where the band channels a touch of middle eastern flair and some added aggression. Parrish does an outstanding job of arranging these songs. Semkiw does a nice job transitioning to a higher register which adds some real character to the vocals. The band does not get Progressive but instead focuses on creating shorter (mostly under 5 minutes) impactful songs. The keyboard run that opens ‘Irresistible’ is enticing and leads into another outstanding song that features some cool musical passages and vocal sections. The hooks in these songs are subtle which I believe will serve them better in the long run.

Wrapping up the EP is ‘Perseverance’ with its thundering drum introduction. This has been the one song on the EP that has been slower to grow on me; it is getting there though. The chorus here is the one element that just keeps seeming to be missing something for me. I cannot put my finger on it, perhaps this is where my mind does expect a counter vocal.

At only five songs, TULIP is not messing around and want to make an immediate impact. It must have worked because each time I listen to this EP I find myself wanting to hear more. Highly recommend for a listen for fans of Lacuna Coil, Kobra and the Lotus, Nightwish, Battle Beast, and I would also say fans of old Savatage albums.

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Review - Gerald Stansbury

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