EP Review: Wings Denied – Awake
Origin: Washington, DC
Release year: 2012
Genre: Progressive Metal
Progressive Metal these days, at least the sort that flies into my inbox, seems to be more about chugging a la Meshuggah than anything else. In other words, it’s all turned into this thing called Djent. Or at least that’s my modest impression.
Wings Denied isn’t all that different. They call themselves a Progressive Metal band and they’ve got plenty of down-tuned guitar jamming going on. But for once they’ve got something that isn’t just a bad copy of the above mentioned Swedes. ‘Progressive’ is a stupid name any way. It suggests the band in question completely redefines the Metal genre. Such is not the matter with Wings Denied, but neither is it with 99% of the other bands that call themselves Progressive. However, they do play themselves a decent piece of Metal that cuts out their own distinctive sound.
Awake, a three-song EP, is the recently released evidence of that. Independently released and downloadable on a name your price basis through Bandcamp you ought to give it a spin.
Largely responsible for the band’s own look and feel are Luka Kerecin’s vocals. They are primarily clean, treading the boundary between screaming and singing and have a certain covered frustration shimmering through on occasion. They are high pitched but no Bruce Dickinson copy. Mostly though, they are not so much bombastic as they are dramatic. More sorrowful than angry. I wasn’t convinced during the first few spins of this EP, but they grow on you and I’m now at a stage where I think they actually match the music better than a properly executed growl.
Wings Denied do not go mental on polyrhythms and syncopated strumming. To be honest that’s a nice breather as Metal really got flooded with so much of exactly that in the last year or two. It used to blow me away, but got boring quickly. Wings Denied simply keep it nice and tight without willing to sound like the next über-tech Metal outfit. They somehow manage to keep it modest and functional and it works really well.
Of the three songs on the EP, Vultures is the most interesting track. The longest of the trio it has the duration needed to go through a couple of atmospheric phases. In short, it has the most story telling capability.
More characteristic of the overall product however, is the opening song, Maiden. It features a nice groove carried on low guitar riffing and stimulated by a chunky piece of drumming. Regarding that drumming, one minor is that it feels somewhat drowned out and flat. Even the bass drums do not possess the power to carry through the wall of guitars and that’s a pity. Looking at the whole of it though, Maiden is a catchy song, owing as much to the groove as to the chorus.
Awake is a fair piece of work. It isn’t amazing, but it certainly has the power to be a great spinner for the home to work stretch. I feel Wings Denied musically stick out above the majority of same-genre artists, but will it be enough to shine through the host of Prog outfits that are flooding the shores present day Metal?
My Grade: 7.5/10
Buy this when:
- you like Djent
- without all the pointless complexities