Label: Standby Records
Release date: November 27, 2012
Portland, Oregon is quickly becoming a hotbed for up and coming musical talent, though metal is usually not the city’s most prominent sonic dish. Yet, this is where these “melodic wondercore” upstarts call home. This is the label the quintet of Lukkie Thornton (Lead Vocals), Chree Thornton (Guitar), Austin Shaner (Bass), Tristen Warren (Guitar), Calin Wormdahl (Drums), have given their modern metal sound.
If one is looking for comparison, bands like Asking Alexandria and label-mates Black Veil Brides jump to mind, with perhaps some Miss May I and Blessthefall mixed in.
The band is currently working on writing material for its full length debut which will be released in 2013, but on November 27, Standby Records will whet the collective appetite with a 21-minute, five-song EP (not counting the 15 second whispered intro), entitled, “The First Year”.
The set opens up with a catchy sweeping guitar riff and military drum hits. Lukkie wastes no time getting his angry growls in on the action, before he takes us into a melodic course with catchy cleans. Throughout the track, Chree and Tristen fill the atmosphere with nice fills and crisp tones. But it is the pounding of Calin that stands out the most.
“Attempt to No Avail” continues the propulsive uptempo drive. Despite the oft brutality of the music, the band seeks to lift the spirits through their lyrical content. More headbanging and riff-grinding melody is in store on “To You My Love”.
On “The Great Divide” the band starts off with another sweeping guitar riff, though this time it’s almost reminiscent of Iron Maiden. That thought is quickly dispelled though as Lukkie’s corrosive vocals rip at your throat.
Closing the EP out is the band’s first single, the near seven-minute, “Plague of the Broken Hearted”. This track seems to bring to life every strong element the band offers, from solid musicianship, intriguing lyrical content, and hooky melody lines.
“The First Year” is a good taste of what’s to come, but it is too early yet to tell if the Whispers of Wonder can set itself apart from the crowd. The band’s full length debut could go a long way toward fulfilling the promise they show, and stretching the boundaries of their genre.