7 out of 10

Only just signing to Imminence Records, Jacksonville, Florida based metal newcomers; Stages are releasing their new debut EP, New War, this Friday, June 24th.

With a solid line up who inspire and challenge each other, Stages have crafted an EP that has a heavy and powerful sound that blends with melodic metal core and creates a fusion like no other. The lead single off their EP, which is also the title song, New War, demonstrates that the band are prepared to go whatever means necessary to create a song that they are proud of and one they hope will make a huge impact in the hardcore scene.

Forget the Past opens the EP with an eerie atmosphere. The song builds up and intensifies with the addition of a sinister piano sequence in which seconds after the vocals jump in bringing the song together. Aaron Berkshire’s vocals are tight and gripping and instantly roar out at you. Alongside the guitars demonstrate excellent precision and performance. Forget the Past, really sets the bar high for this EP.

Destiny is next, and wastes no time with introduction. The track bursts in full force, and is probably the speediest song on the EP. The instrumentation in this song is more than just the generic metal core, there’s an underlying synth throughout which makes it slightly fun. The chorus is sung, which showcases the band’s melodic side, having less raw aggression. Remember me, starts off with a strong guitar lead, before developing into a heavy riff. The chorus again is sung, with the lyrics taking the spotlight. Lastly, single, New War, finishes the EP. The song features Steven McCorry of Exotype. Straight away the song is noticeably heavier, guitarists Brandon Scott, Justin Ramirez and bassist Patrick Will Smith work in tandem with the bass and drum craft of Jarrod Dangler. The guitars in this track come through like a truck with meaty riffs, relentless vocals which display excellent song writing talent. The song closes with both vocalists, yelling, ‘This is a new war’ which is compelling and sends goosebumps down your spine.



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