American quartet, Facing Fire enter 2018 with a new eponymous four track EP, formed around the single ‘Dying Inside’, which made some noise when it was released last year. Following up the goodwill that the single received with something as equally as strong is paramount, and thankfully the EP doesn’t disappoint. Slotting into position comfortably next to acts like Sevendust or even Linkin Park (with less electronics), Facing Fire have produced a highly polished sounding EP that belies their relative infancy as a band. Heavier than someone like Skillet, but not so heavy that fans of Skillet would baulk at Facing Fire. The electronics, when they appear, are not as forceful and as ‘in your face’ as many bands insist on today. The guitars are king in the land of Facing Fire. It’s modern American rock with one eye on the past, thanks to some crunching groove metal guitars.
So what do you get for a few bucks? ‘Dying Inside’ is the one that brought Facing Fire to a lot of people’s attention; big sound with a lovely, rich drum beat throughout. Vocalist Scott Artis adds a dash of anguish to his vocals, and on a few occasions, makes you stop and pay attention. ‘Filthy Life’ is going to be the follow up to ‘Dying Inside’, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a bit slower in pace, but doesn’t lose any of the angst or venom its predecessor packed in. Artis grows on me as a vocalist through the course of the EP, with ‘Overcome’ being the icing on the cake. It’s edging into the lead as my favourite track of the four, thanks mainly to the impassioned call-to-arms from Artis. ‘Fake’ rounds out the EP with a neat keyboard sound almost buried in the mix. It’s strong enough to hear, but never at the expense of the guitars. A hard-hitting, atmospheric way to end what is a promising EP. Although it is only four tracks long, there is enough here to keep the interest going until a full length album appears.
Available February 16th on Pavement Entertainment, more information here.