For a band only just releasing their debut EP, Birmingham-based Creature already have their ambitions clearly in sight. Hex is the first edition in a trilogy of EPs set to be released over the coming months, with a mission statement to reduce what they dub “inauthenticity” in modern heavy music; stripping back to a sound that steers clear of overproduction, processed guitars, and triggered drums. The eight-minute EP, in their own words, is designed to be an “unrelenting burst of crushing energy.”
Creature open their debut with the one minute and forty four second long lead single, 'Witch’s Grip', which does admittedly live up to the sudden energy burst that was promised. There’s elements of both thrash and hardcore present, before a sudden breakdown that, even after the wave of post-hardcore and metalcore, manages not to sound stale with some effective guitar playing over it. It’s over almost as soon as it begins, and perhaps that’s why it works so effectively; Creature provides aggressive energy in short bursts, with some frantic playing to go alongside it, which doesn’t relent as they power through the second track, 'Liquid Gold'.
'Crestfallen' is perhaps the second most interesting track musically on the album, after the opener.
The stripped-back production is most present here, with everything from vocals to percussion sounding as raw as possible. If anything, the vocal line does sound slightly too compressed, but it does not lessen the track. 'Blackness' concludes the EP, just as the listener is beginning to get used to the overall sound – but as previously stated, that is what makes it work.
It is possible that the band made a wise choice in keeping the EP so short; lest anything longer risk desensitising the listener from their sound. It does make one curious as to how Creature would work live, with short bursts of moshing energy that are over almost as soon as they start being slightly reminiscent of Trash Talk. Nonetheless, for a fresh take on the rawness of heavy music, Creature are a band to look out for with their next two EPs set to be released before the end of 2020.
Hex is out May 3rd via Grey Ghost Records