Words by Matt Gabites
There is always a risk for emerging metal bands, desperate to standout from the crowd, to overstate their intent. It normally manifests itself by way of citing famous bands that have influenced them in the hope that it will attract some of their fans to check them out. Or, make mention of how they have a totally new take on a well-worn genre of metal.
And it is the latter option that Karlsruhe natives Waiting for Connection have chosen. With a press release that declares a new take on metalcore, no less, and states they have added elements of jazz, melody and djent.
Now, up until reviewing this e.p I would have thought djent was just the kinda made up word that starts Scrabble fights. Nevertheless, we have 5 songs to find out whether or not these German lads are all P.R bark and no musical bite.
Thankfully, Committed to the Waves wastes no time in leaving teeth marks on the listener. The first thing that stands out is just how good this thing sounds. Tackling Hippos Records deserve massive kudos for making this record sound like a major label release.
Drums residing just on the right side of eye blinkingly sharp snare and chest pounding kick. Bass notes that rumble loud enough to shake nans urn off the bookshelf, and a vocalist whose talent warrants the front and centre place he takes in the mix.
This is a crushingly heavy introduction, amplified by just the right blend of tempo changes, barked verses and a catchy a.f (clean vocal) chorus. system_OVERWRITE arrives just in time to scratch that Killswitch Engage itch. And this track really allows the guitarists to show off their talents as notes ricochet around in an impressive example of controlled chaos.
Edge Walker enjoys a short keyboard intro that teases the oncoming riff before the bass and drums smash this tiny moment of respite into smithereens. And 45 seconds later the aforementioned jazz elements appear. Upon first listen this has quite a jarring effect, but on subsequent run throughs it becomes hard to imagine the song without it. A true
indication of quality songwriting rather than trying to be different just for the sake of it. This is a terrific track, delivering equal measures of brutality and melody.
Speaking of brutality… Try on the first few seconds of Fog Inside for size.
It is gobsmackingly heavy, making the U-turn into jazz territory even more disorienting than the previous attempt. But somehow it works and is testament to a band delivering on their promise of bringing a new take on metalcore.
This debut effort is signed off by Bottom of the Lake. An almost New Order (!) style intro is soon gatecrashed by more melodic metalcore. And melody is key here, from the lead breaks to the guitar picking outro being shadowed by perfectly placed piano notes.
So now with expectations high, after such an impressive introduction to their talents as a whole, we have the ‘debut dilemma’ to contemplate.
Have we just gotten in on the ground floor of a band destined for greatness? Or, as is more often the case, just been treated to another fine example of a band benefiting from having had years to perfect a handful of songs before being unable to deliver on their promise (not looking at you Diamond Plate).
And even though I still don’t believe djent is a real word, I absolutely believe that Waiting for Connection is destined for big things.