BrokenRail – BrokenRail EP
Release Date: November 25, 2016
Fort some reason one does not usually think of Alabama as a hotbed for modern metal, yet BrokenRail is quickly proving the South has something fresh to offer in a genre often stale with generic detritus. The band got its start in 2008, looking to follow the direction of artists such as Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Hinder, and Shinedown. The band, which features vocalist Blake Clawson, guitarist Nelson Rezek, bassist Dick Black, and drummer Alex Hilton, dropped its debut self-released album, Welcome to the Escape in 2010. They followed up with their sophomore EP Never The Same in late 2011.
Over the years, trials and tribulations have conspired to keep the group from getting their second full-length album recorded, but last month, the band unleashed its new eponymous EP. The three tracks were engineered by Joseph McQueen (As I Lay Dying) with mixing and mastering by Kane Churko (Papa Roach) and Logan Mader (Bullet For My Valentine, Butcher Babies) of Machine Head and Once Human fame.
The EP kicks off with “Memory,” a broody track with a little bit of Pantera-esque swagger in the guitars, and a venomous vocal delivery from Clawson. There’s a great swing to the meaty rhythms of the song, the whole thing is delivered with a dark and menacing overtone.
In contrast, the single, “Walk Again” is more bouncy and upbeat, open in a swirl of fretwork buzzing fretwork from Rezek. This shifts into a chugging verse before escalating into a soaring and melodic chorus. Clawson’s powerful vocals manage to balance brutality with emotive edge. There is something of a David Dramain quality to his tone and presence.
The EP’s final track, “Save Me” has something of a heavier Adelitas Way meets Nonpoint groove to it. The chorus is huge with a lingering hook. Black’s bass reverberates like blood coursing through your temples and paces the song perfectly.
BrokenRail has delivered three new tracks that resonate with energy and attitude. If BrokenRail is representative of what fans can expect with the band’s next full-length effort, there is plenty of promise here to keep fans excited for the present and future. The EP’s only notable weakness is its brevity.