02. Question The Sky
03. Far From The Stars
04. The Progenitor
05. The Reflection
It is a real shame when promising talent is buried under lackluster production, particularly on a début release. It throws the listener off-balance, distracts from the intricate melodies and honed energy present within, and often tarnishes an otherwise pleasant experience. This very phenomenon plagues the début The Reflection EP of Blackpool, UK progressive metal act Nobody. I do not use the term ‘progressive’ lightly; these guys really show an effort to ‘progress’ beyond the usual confines of a genre, blending elements of melodeath, alt-rock and metalcore into a combination that won’t evoke instant comparisons. Although the band’s eclectic influences of Opeth, Dethklok, and Trivium make some sense, the sound as a whole feels unchartered and not unwelcome.
The band waste no time in launching into a heavy chugging death metal attack on opener “Defraud”, dominated by Jake Marsh‘s breathy growl and Dan Myers‘ thundering drums. The chorus, in comparison, is much smoother, Marsh’s excellent catchy alt-rock cleans complementing the more melodic guitarwork, before the latter hops from a metalcore-esque breakdown to a harsh-toned technical solo. A promising start that continues with the same eagerness. The rest of the EP spreads out in diversity: “Question The Sky” features well-written lyrics: a Mikael Åkerfeldt-style growl unleashes “Deluded protection, your bones build their temples, why do you believe they exist?”, before the song appropriately echoes a little of Opeth or Cynic in the bridge section.
Meanwhile, “Far From The Stars”, although less “prog”, inverts the conventional song structure by saving the growls for the chorus, although the cleans are by far more preferable. Nobody finally unleash the “prog floodgates” on the 11-minute closer title track; growl-riddled chugs and melodeath-driven sections interchange with Porcupine Tree-like calmer moments. Unfortunately, the song ends on a bum-note with a poorly-recorded whisper that spoils the atmosphere created.
Strong points throughout the EP are encapsulated in Marsh’s singing and Rob Broadbent‘s/Max Gallagher‘s guitar riffs; the songs are memorable and stand up well to repeat plays, with several Ohrwurm-melodies such as the intro of “Question The Sky”. Regrettably, the major flaw of the EP also lies with Broadbent, who was responsible for production and has predominantly made the drum sound far too tinny. The cymbal crashes are quite a distraction from the music, while the guitar tone could have done with being thicker, and the whisper is definitely something to be worked on for next time. However, considering this is a first release, and the songwriting itself is of high quality, one can forgive them for these oversights.
Without a doubt, Nobody have got some serious potential. With a guiding hand in the recording studio, it is more than likely that they can release a strong follow-up to this EP. However, looking past the production flaws, The Reflection EP is an entertaining slice of metal, and if the band continue this level of songwriting on their next release, we’ll have a strong contender for the title of best British newcomer.