20 Jul 2019

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Take Hold - EP Review: Disrepair

27 Jun 2019 // A review by Kris Raven

I have seen Take Hold’s name pop in up various social media circles, posters and events but had not had a chance to check them out. Their debut five song EP Disrepair had me instantly hooked from the first listen, reminding me of past and present melodic hardcore bands from the 00's to the 10's and more recently. This particular sub-genre has always had a really positive upbeat feel for me. While it's vocally aggressive and fast with punchy riffs, the chords and melodic lines pack so many good vibes it's hard not to have the feels.

The first track Patience begins with an opening clean riff, then kicks in half time groove with a light lead over the top, lead vocalist Jai Aronsen's harsh vocals in full swing, reminiscent of Canadian hardcore band Counterparts vocalist Brandon Murphy. You can hear the Counterparts influence throughout the record, but I also hear nods to earlier hardcore and metalcore legends like Poison the Well and Norma Jean, just in terms of certain structures and how the songs piece together. Like a lot of these more progressive core bands, the songs aren’t so much verse-chorus repeat but a series of sections that build and grow, moving between frantic intensity and then melodic atmospheric parts.

The second track Bloom wastes no time, coming in full throttle, fast punk hardcore beats with discordant guitars, reminding me of early Hundreth. The drums are manic, and the vocals are passionately violent while the lead guitar holds down and carries the melodies throughout. The offbeat guitar and tone stand out and the song stops with small breaths of lighter ambient moments. The final passage we are serenaded with the lead guitar ascending above and ending with melodic chords playing out with Jai’s screams fading in the background. The guitar duo of Josh Krisansen and Tomas Newbury provide much of the songs creative drive, providing a mix of distorted discorded notes and chords, symphonic lead lines and heavy punch hardcore riffage.

The third track Scatter has an initial groove feel with a slight metal core tinge then gains momentum quick fast. Much of the songs escalate and come back down to half time then accelerate again, keeping you on your listening toes. While Overboard had a slight progressive feel with more off beat sections, drummer Levi Wenzlick is consistently solid, I like the small flourishes of double kick and tom fills throughout with bassist Thomas Butler holding down the low end underneath some of manic chaos. The final track Diminish is another out the gate, super-fast track, a little Ghost Inside with the sweet floor tom impact. The riffs are aggressive and the break down is massive but still carries the discorded melody.

The band recorded this EP independently whilst it was mixed and mastered by Jay Maas, the man behind the likes of Counterparts and Bane. Take Hold have certainly packed this EP full, it’s a short journey but it's gonna take people all over the place. These guys know what they are doing and how to do it, wearing their influences on their sleeves. I was incredibly impressed with the composition; the passion and intensity and I cannot wait to see them do it live!

Again, I'll keep saying it, NZ metal, rock, hardcore and all its various sub genres are world class and we have some of the best bands in the world. Go listen to them and support them at theirs shows and buy their merch! EP is out now!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


Year: 2019
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kris Raven

Animalhead - Single Review: Stone Face Killer
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Auckland’s favourite lads Animalhead on the lash are back with their massive third single Stone Face Killer. The ferocious trio are known for their chunky and funky riffs, massive groove, dabs of rap and blues, soaking it in rock and roll and turning out the party bangers for a throw down.
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Hutt Valley's finest, Claemus, have just dropped the first two singles from their forthcoming EP. If the singles and previous works are anything to go by then our ears are in for some of the finest progressive rock/metal this year.
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From the first listen of Pale Lady’s latest single Fear The Fun it instantly reminded me of Medieval times, with the harpsichord keys playing a little jig which is the intro theme to the whole song, it's fun and I did not fear it. Then the epicness begins, how can anyone not like duel guitars wailing and soloing melodically together carrying the anthemic tune into the battle.
Crooked Royals - EP Review: Rumination
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Let's just start off by saying, Ruminations is 5-songs by Crooked Royals, who have leveled up in a big way. It sounds like a band who have found their sound with well-constructed songs that are cohesive, interesting, original and just HUGE.
Cherry Blind - Single Review: Black Sheep
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Cherry Blind (formally known as Minimal Silence) have recently dropped 1 minute and 25 seconds of adrenaline soaked punk-rock-grunge-noise in the form of brand new single Black Sheep. A name change can always go a few ways but with a new single following afterwards, people can be rest assured they are coming out of the 2019 gates swinging and ready to launch.
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