I’m surprised I haven’t come across A Higher Demise before, as this five-piece are from Dartford which is actually pretty close to where I live. They probably are slightly heavier than the bands I love the most but having been around since 2012, I’m surprised that their latest EP is the first I’ve heard from them. They’ve already drawn comparisons to Bring Me The Horizon and been played on various independent radio stations with several rave reviews from blogs and music magazines.
I’m not a fan of Bring Me The Horizon and regular readers will know how much I love a good alternative rock band who happen to have an insanely talented vocalist. Screamo has definitely never been something I’ve enjoyed listening to and I normally skip songs by bands I love that use it. However, A Higher Demise incorporate it in a way that gives me a lot to consider and for that, I thank them for not subjecting me to an EP full of someone repeatedly screaming angst into my ear.
The Doctor Will See You Now is their first official EP and features five songs which are incredibly unique in that I’ve yet to hear a band who so clearly appear to have a multi-personality sound. It begins with My Therapist Knows You By Name which opens with fast tapping melodic guitars and is then injected with a demonic vocal. At this point, my stomach did sink a bit but as I began to think about what sort of slant I could put on the review, a beautiful alternative rock vocal appeared, which battled it out with the screams as they traded lines throughout the frantic angry monster of a song. Before I knew it, we were onto the next track and I was incredibly intrigued about what the band were going to do next.
All These Reasons opened with some pretty harmonies and a simple guitar full of suspense, which was then pierced with the growl of the scream. The metallic riffs contrasted the sound of the vocals and gave it a really interesting clashing effect. The melodic vocals returned with the darkness of the screams running underneath and I began to wonder exactly what A Higher Demise were illustrating here. The thundering drums and dainty synth-esque guitars also suggested at a clear depiction of both the light and dark within people and indeed music.
Perhaps a more relaxed song is Here We Go Again, although it is still in keeping with the angst that we’ve already heard. The swaying motion of the track is married with the growling guitars and angry screams and it’s almost like two songs are playing at the same time. Being able to pull this off is something that I’ve never heard another band do and I have nothing but praise for them for doing it. The screamo is there as a constant shadow on the otherwise traditional alternative rock sound and its presence is something that makes me think that it’s there for a reason other than just clashing together the two different vocals simply because they can.
It’s A Trap is my favourite track instrumentally as the haunting chimes which ripple underneath throughout it are the perfect delicate background. The scream seems to leap on us suddenly and takes us off into a loud energetic moshpit anthem. There are classic metal guitar bursts and swaying melodic vocals which seem to get caught up in the storm but the consistent haunted feel runs through the track and it’s a further clue that A Higher Demise’s sound is perhaps possessed by the demon that keeps fighting with the vocal to be heard.
Ending on Over And Over, which sees the appearance of a female vocal which I’m assuming is provided by bassist Rachael. The growing guitar fuzz at the beginning is followed by fast tapping drums and the explosions of the riff are followed by pretty pop-punk-esque vocals merged with the screams. The female vocal adds another dimension to the band’s style and makes Over And Over a unique track on an already unique EP. It’s undeniably catchy and the ringing riffs and gorgeous harmonies dominating suggest that perhaps good always wins over evil.
I’m unsure whether A Higher Demise purposefully created a concept EP that combines both good and evil but it’s what I took from The Doctor Will See You Now. The title of the EP suggests to me that it is possessed and the songs within it certainly seem to be haunted by an evil presence, which is clear in the demonic screams that constantly make themselves known. It’s definitely something that everyone should listen to as I think it might be a record that gives something different to each individual it reaches and it was this that made my listening experience thoroughly enjoyable!