Stealth – Verse (EP) – Track By Track Review

Birmingham artist Stealth has been on the fringes of solo success for a little while now. A native of the famous industrial city, his music reflects the very nature of the town he was raised in ; shadowy, cultured and honest. His more recent output such as last year’s Judgement Day single helped establish him through channels such as BBC Introducing, as a hidden gem and even found him providing vocals for drum and bass mavericks Netsky Vs. Metrik’s, demonstrating a flexibility in collaborating with artists outside of his own genre. 2017 brings a new year and a brand new EP titled Verse, showcasing some unique new elements over a trio of tracks.

Blame – Opening with resonator like guitars, Stealth introduces his dulcet tones slowly, sounding not unlike Hozier at times. It eventually kicks into a pulsing beat but retains a dusky vibe throughout. At just over two and a half minutes, it acts as a brooding calm before the storm.

Real Life – The record steps up a notch here with the stomping Real Life. Backed by a groove that would be right at home on the Mississippi Delta, it utilizes low vocals alongside a muscular blues guitar riff to create a backdrop for Stealth’s soulful vocal delivery.

How Much Further – The most commercial of the three, How Much Further starts with handclaps and snappy drums before diving headfirst into a huge chorus detailing a lyric based around the “constant struggle normal people have to go through”. Co-written by the two-time Grammy nominated Michael Angelo, it’s a keen demonstration of just how commercially viable Stealth is.

The latest release from Stealth is a short but sweet education in modern bluesy pop. It shows bottomless potential in certain areas such as the pulsing Blame, although with most of the songs falling under the 3 minute mark, there is definitely room to pack future songs with more adventurous structures. What Verse lacks in originality however, it more than makes up for in firepower and with house sized vocal hooks and a striking full production, it captures an artist primed for radio success.

Verse is available to stream everywhere now.

this be the verse

This Be The Verse – Self Titled

The album opens with no messing about – a fuzzy lead guitar riff and crashing cymbal/snare beats bring the tone of the whole record to the fore with following melodic vocals. These quickly beak out into screams in the end of the first verse and into the chorus though, showing the raw anger flowing throughout Stubborn Youth.

The drums take over on the third track Consequences as a quick punk beat repeating by itself leads into a fast-paced and punchy rock track. A similar story is true on the following track Adieu with a bassline to match the slower beat, but breaks down to give a layered vocal chorus. First single Unveil also contains a huge drumbeat to open up: a recurring theme, it seems.

The first flavour of the album released was the single Unveil, which was used well and sums up the self-titled debut as a whole. Groovy bass and shimmering cymbals with layered gang vocals for the chorus shouting “raise your fist and let us rebel” show off the anger pent up in the group whether screaming and thrashing or playing through a quieter section. A very good track to start with to get you feeling the vibe of the release, maybe even before starting from the beginning.

Vocally, Cyrus King has a very unique sound however he projects his voice: his screams are high-pitched in a kind of hardcore style crossed with Austin Carlile to form a very throaty and fury-filled sound, his clean vocals are crisp and precise with a rock arrangement and the backing vocals are all tuned, however gang-sounding. The lyrics he uses throughout are well-written and meaningful throughout which is impressive considering the anger displayed within

Slightly bizarrely, How Can You Sleep At Night throws everything up to this part into question as electronics come out with a funky beat and whispered vocals through the verse that sound almost Rammstein-esque to create a huge-sounding industrial rock track. The pre-chorus has a funk riff with tuned vocals and the chorus breaks out into a  before the outro brings in a crunchy rhythm guitar to keep the track weighted and it vanishes with no warning. This opens the way for Ungrateful Me to hold the same kind of blend though this time sounding more like a more modern Enter Shikari track. Alone has an all-out trip feel to it, with recurring electronic beats and spoken vocals.

The last track I Am Charlie is by far the standout on the record however, as the anger and hatred of the world displayed in attacks in the Charlie Hebdo offices last year are clearly a motive. The first three minutes of the track play out in a heartfelt acoustic piece renouncing all religion before it turns into a bouncy, screamed piece as Cyrus screams “f*** religion” over and over to bring home his point. The contrast between the two styles show how diverse This Be The Verse truly are, and while there is by no means a mastery of all the styles there is undoubtedly a firm grip.

Overall then, not a bad record but inevitably too wacky in parts and diverse as it is clear to see the record doesn’t fit together. As individual tracks there will be something for everyone, though as a collection there will be tracks people will inevitably skip.

Unveil

This Be The Verse release ‘Unveil’, announce album

After the track was played on Daniel P Carter’s Radio 1 Rock Show on Sunday, This Be The Verse have officially released Unveil, on top of detailing their new debut album.

The album will be self-titled and will be released on October 7th.

Watch the video for Unveil below:

The band are also going out on tour in September, see the dates below:

6th Bristol, Fleece
7th London, Boston Music Room
15th Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
16th Swansea, Sin City
17th Exeter, Cavern
18th Southampton, Talking Heads