Chunky riffs, aggressive vocals juxtaposed against clean melodic sounds and at times an extreme metalcore edge, The Five Hundred at last deliver their debut album ‘Bleed Red’, released August 17th
on Long Branch Records.
Formed in 2014, this Nottingham based quintet have quite a plethora of life experiences to draw from in order to fuel their aggressive sound that incorporates sounds from across the metal genre, metal core roars, prog metal technical prowess, doomladen undertones, djenty strong chunky riffs that soar throughout the tracks and an absolute smattering of bludgeoning drums to batter the beat home.
Aggressive yet exhilarating, you’ll be pulled through a superfluity of themes that centre around addiction and it’s affect on the individual, the attack of the persona and the different facets of
the psyche, narcissistic tendencies, psychosis and the ultimate self-destruction after a life of abusing one’s self.
Album title track ‘Bleed Red’ gives you the aggression right from the offset, screaming “Monsters don’t sleep under my bed, they lie inside my fucking head!” It’s a brutal track to kick off the album that suddenly drops it’s aggression to make way for the super clean vocals, and although I like the clean vocals throughout not just this track but the whole album, I can’t help thinking they’d benefit from a slightly less squeaky clean tone, more grit, but that’s just a personal preference and doesn’t detract from the fact that these guys deliver an awesome debut.
‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is going to pull you in with the stellar musicianship from Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty on guitars, hammering the track home with the rapid fire drums from Kelsey James and you’ve got a banging tune on your hands - or I should say in your ears rattling around your brain like a happy buzzing hive of bees! It’s one of the strongest tracks on the album for me, along with ‘Seduced By Shadows’ with its less aggressive opening but same rapid fire drums that power through the track and punch it all the way!
‘The Narcissist’, ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Reclusive’ are all strong tracks, though there are some portions of these songs that feel like elongated prog metal renditions that, while technically brilliant, did interfere with the overall feeling of the tracks for me. ‘I Am The Undead’ bites, bludgeons and batters it’s way into your eardrums, it’s raw and rapid, that djenty feel returning to the music giving a nice edge over some of the other tracks on the album.
‘The Noose’ has a slightly different approach, the vocals here are superb as vocalist Johnathan Woods-Eley displays an amazing vocal range that would leave most lead vocalists envious. As I said
before, maybe they’re a little too clean at times and need that edge of grit to really punch the tracks all the way home.
Album closer ‘Circles’ is a shakeup in sounds, it’s beautiful delivery is quite refreshing in an album that at times felt a little samey. It’s a mesmerisingly chilled track, the intro is kind of haunting, then you get the full onslaught of drums, bass from Andy Crawford, and duel guitars before it settles into this melodically soothing metal track. One of my favourites, it soars, it dips, it builds then it unleashes aggression before dipping into those clean melodious sounds that, on this track, are intensely welcome. Loved it!
Metalcore fans will love this album and for a debut it holds a lot of promise for the future of the band. Check them out people!
The Five Hundred are:
Johnathan Woods-Eley - Vocals
Mark Byrne - Guitars
Paul Doughty - Guitars
Andy Crawford - Bass
Kelsey James - Drums
You can check them out at the following links: