E.P. Review: Sinful Ways – Darkest Days

E.P. Review: Sinful Ways - Darkest Days
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Opening tracks really make or break albums and E.P.s. That initial impact really can put you off delving deeper or throw a welcoming arm around your shoulders, inviting you to explore the music further. The sophomore release from Canadian quartet Sinful Ways sadly struggles in this department, in main because opening track ‘Vow of the Devil’, whilst a muscular and aggressive song, fails to ignite anything exciting.

Sinful Ways ply a metalcore groove style which echoes the likes of Trivium, Lamb of God, and Parkway Drive. ‘Vow of the Devil’ kicks off with a huge sound, massive riffs and ferocious roaring, the drums providing a thunderous backdrop. But the clean vocals struggle and temper that fire. The groove metal beat is evident from the start, the track has chops and it chugs along nicely if a little average in style. There’s a decent lead break which breaks up the track, but the damage is already done.

Sinful Ways follow this with the three and a half minute ‘Bury the Hatchet’, with clean vocals taking the lead and supported by the gruffer style in the typical way that many bands chose to follow. Clean harmonies are pleasing, and the track belts along at high speed but there’s a vacuum. It’s groove metal by numbers, and really doesn’t excite.

E.P. Review: Sinful Ways – Darkest Days

Lyrically the band are angry, and this does translate to their music which is fast paced with an unrestrained rage. ‘Manhattan’ is a slightly better track, although I still struggle with the interplay between rough and cleans. Musically, Sinful Ways appear tight and powerful, and they are cohesive.

After three similar styled songs, a deep synth intro heralds the arrival of concluding track ‘Pursuit’. Slightly more commercial than the other tracks, it once again highlights the weaknesses the band face with the vocal delivery. The cleans are better and the longer track allows the musical side to develop and explore. It’s not a bad song, but I’ve heard better.

I’m not sure why ‘Darkest Days’ didn’t gel. Maybe it’s because of the repetition in the writing, maybe the strained delivery and the fact it is one of my less loved genres. There’s plenty here and many may love this record. I can’t say I did at any stage but give it a go – you may find something that I’ve missed.

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