Since the release of their debut album ‘Skin’ in 2014, Brisbane Gothic Metallers Flynn Effect have grown stronger with each release, and ‘Monument’ is no exception. Though the EP numbers only five tracks, the growth of the band is clearly exhibited in this diverse collection. Of particular note is the spectacular growth of vocalist Tomina Vincent’s abilities – always a charismatic and engaging performer, Vincent yet outdoes herself on this latest offering.
The EP begins with single release ‘Believer’ which was well chosen as the lead track as it captures many distinctive elements of the band, in their stronger than ever mode. The gentle electronic intro leads into slow bass and drums accompanied by Vincent’s distinctive voice. Vincent presents a seductive yet melancholy persona, even as Jesse Higginson’s heavy guitars kick in for the poignant chorus. The pace and energy build to raise the mood as the lyrics become strong and empowering, with the words “You’re enough,” repeated throughout, leading into an exultant guitar solo. Overall, the band come together to create a truly beautiful soundscape.
‘Colossus’ opens with electronics that build the sense of anticipation alongside Vincent’s vocals. Shortly thereafter heavy riffs answer the anticipation, even as the underlying keys and Vincent’s vocals keep a relatively measured pace. The emphasis remains largely on the vocals as the song goes on, and deservedly so. The influence of The Gathering can be felt as the electronics and keys continue to be emphasised. However, it can also be said that the riffs in the track are the most recognisably classic Flynn Effect.
A more surprising track, ‘Death Said’ focuses almost entirely on beautiful piano and Vincent’s transcendent voice. Slow guitars do make themselves known, but only bolstering Vincent’s performance in this gentle, bittersweet track that feels like it might almost be at home in a smoky jazz club.
The slow, reflective ‘Metanoia’ begins with minimalist guitar and drums, creating a vibe that is almost reminiscent of Dire Straits. The pace stays relatively slow even when the chunky riffs kick in, while the bass forms an understated but vital part of the track. The more overt introduction of symphonic elements raises the track to the next level before Higginson’s mournful guitar solo, showing yet another side of Flynn Effect.
Suspenseful guitars almost reminiscent of a Western soundtrack open ‘The Burial’, shortly followed by Vincent’s low, foreboding vocals. Matt Cuff’s bass is a strong, underlying presence weaving through the tension before the track kicks into faster heaviness. The Burial weaves a spell through its many changes in pace, focus and mood, continuing to feel as though it could form part of the soundtrack to a film of the Gothic oeuvre like The Crow. There is even a little injection of post-Metal guitar styling before the slow, haunting outro.
After roughly 25 minutes, it can certainly be said that ‘Monument’ leaves the listener wanting more. If the next full-length album is set to contain songs of this calibre, it’s one to look out for indeed. In the meantime, make sure you catch Flynn Effect on their upcoming single release tour for Believe, and see them perform some of their new material in the flesh.
Flynn Effect’s ‘Monument‘ is released July 6th.
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