From an instrumental perspective, “Rotations” begins as a remarkable exhibition of musicianship.
Some of the riffs heard on this release are titanic and destined to induce carnage on venue floors throughout the country, but the band tragically let themselves down when it comes to their vocal work.
Simply put, Vera Grace just cannot find the correct balance between clean vocals and screams. It’s an issue that has hindered the sound of many bands at the heavier end of the spectrum, and it’s unfortunately occurred again.
‘Wasting Away’ blasts through the speakers with riffs heavier than Greece’s debt, while the drumming skills on show are equally as impressive. However, at about the one-minute mark, clean vocals arrive which threaten to undermine all of the positives and place Vera Grace alongside the rest of the UK’s metalcore also-rans.
The problem is that the singing only serves to subdue the track, lowering its intensity and slowing the band’s commendable momentum.
A clear musical comparison can be made with Architects during “Esther’s Imagination” and, while this is far from a bad thing, it’s hard to see where the band’s inventiveness lies.
The E.P’s title track is a refreshing departure from the Oxfordshire group’s generic sound, featuring ethereal guitar work, but it’s merely an intro to “I Am The Earth”, which yet again boasts the aforementioned scream/sing formula.
“Rotations” is far from a terrible E.P, but it should be strictly left to partisan fans of the currently over-saturated metalcore genre.