Victorian Alternative Metal up-and-comers, SVCRED have recently released their debut EP entitled ‘The Portrait’ a few months ago towards the end of May. Combining groove-oriented riffage, gothic ambience, progressive song-structures and introspective lyricism, SVCRED have crafted an EP that is both engaging as well as indicative of a promising future for the collective members of this luminous project.

Five individual tracks of varying melodicism, atmosphere and song-writing approaches lace this album throughout its succinct runtime. The opening track, Empire features some of the more memorable riffs, lyrical hooks and grooves heard throughout the entire EP. Empire highlights a diverse range of musical influences for the project ranging from mid-paced groove metal riffs evocative of bands such as Shokran and Deftones, breakneck Metalcore verses akin to Trivium or Unearth, through to melodic chorus sections reminiscent of Progressive Metal acts from times gone by such as Queensryche, Katatonia Fates Warning and Rush. As one can imagine, combining all of these conflicting musical styles into a congruent and sonically consistent formula is no simple task. However, SVCRED manages to tie all of these genre conventions into a precise and constructive soundscape that allows listeners to find elements of listening enjoyment throughout the EP, whatever their tastes and musical biases.

The third track, Paper Skin demonstrates the sonic variability on display by SVCRED through the introduction of keyboard arrangements which offer a uniquely dark and perhaps gothic spin to their unique take on Alternative Metal. Additionally, Paper Skin introduces an avantgarde approach to vocal delivery within certain sections of the song which may remind some listeners of stage and theatrical influenced bands such as Savatage, Famous Last Words or Kamelot. It is perhaps around this section of the album in which listeners most benefit from the breakup of potential monotony that may have occurred if SVCRED were not to introduce these previously mentioned elements into the compositional makeup of this EP.

The following and closing two tracks on the EP, Black Thorns and The Dark follow in the steps of the previous tracks that opened the album. However, both of the aforementioned tracks drift towards a more melodic direction when compared to the opening moments of the EP. Slow-mid paced verse sections, atmospheric piano interludes and anthemic chorus sections finalise the EP with a melancholic and dejected outlook on the lyrical protagonists struggles with grief and loss. Despite lyrical clichés of darkness, blood, hearts and silence the lead vocalist of SVCRED delivers his vocalisations in such a genuine and emotionally-invested fashion that much of these conventional lyricisms can be supported adequately in spite of their mildly generic nature.

Despite the somewhat repetitive nature of the EP’s production style and approach to song structures, SVCRED construct each song with a tapestry of audible layers and hooks that ensure that the EP remains intriguing and captivating from its opening minutes through until its closing seconds. Overall, ‘The Portrait’ is a very well-executed attempt at creating a musical product that wears its musical influences on its sleeves whilst also sculpting away at an inimitable musical identity that is all their own.

Pick up a copy of SVCRED’s debut EP ‘The Portrait’ HERE!