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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sonic Templars - HAC - Irvine (18/07/14)

With Sonic Templars easing ever closer to releasing the “weapons of mass distrust” ep this live outing in support of Culann in Irvine was the ideal opportunity to get a taster of the material live to see how hard it was going to kick.

In the past there’s been much said about them wearing their influences on the sleeves, and while comparisons to Radiohead and MUSE have not been unfounded, there’s undoubtedly a beautiful brutality to the music that Sonic Templars creates that allows them to push in directions that their musical heroes haven’t explored.
And it is this harder edged delivery that they have in place that allows them to be considered as something more than the sum of said influences.
With the music often building up to a wall of sound with harmonies layered over the top, it is not unusual to feel that everything is moving towards a point of aural destruction, that the song will peak and then fall apart into a mess of crashing chords and screams, but instead just as they reach the cusp of that they effortlessly maintain control, and then it’s a joy to behold them reigning in the power to redirect it all back onto safer shores.
That they can do it so often highlights that it is no mere fluke, and instead is the result of deliberating plotting the pace, and with that they reveal themselves to be a band that has a nuanced approach to song writing that many other acts should rightly be envious of.

So with that in mind was the show going to deliver on more of the same of which there would be no complaints, would they slip back a bit or could they take it to another level?

For those there it is the latter that they experienced.

With the addition of guitarist Stephan Crawford on board to share vocals the band have moved forward not just one step, but leaped ahead and begun to lay out the framework that should allow them to garner the beginnings of plaudits from further afield, and to draw to them a fanbase that could allow them to venture from the small pool they currently reside in to dipping their toes into a much larger one.

With tracks from there previous two outings making the cut into the set you can hear the progress made with songs such as Sweet Deceit from Minds in Transit and Mephistos Minions from BreakingSilence ripping the guts out of their studio versions and leading me to consider that a full length album recorded by the band now could do with some earlier tracks being revisited to be partially reimagined.

It is however on the newest material that the band really takes it up a gear and there’s a hunger in the delivery that screams that there’s plenty of fuel in the tank, and in many ways this new release is really just the beginning.

With a headlining launch on the horizon in Glasgow it is a show that I am comfortable in recommending.

Photograph provided by Mark Hickey. 

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