Calling Apollo - Vessels Review

calling apollo vessels

rating: 4

Forming just over a year ago, though not becoming fully formed until earlier this year, Calling Apollo are a five piece progressive rock band based around South Wales. Mind you, that's progressive rock in very much the modern sense of the term, and their sound encapsulates a little more than that in itself anyway. As stated the five piece became a fully formed five earlier this year, and have just released the debut EP they've been working toward since then. Though currently unsigned, and very much a rarity on the live circuit at the moment, it's clear from the five tracks on display here that the band have been very much focussing on honing their craft first and foremost. Something that becomes pretty much abundantly clear with the first track Youth in Motion as it slowly builds from a subtly swirling atmosphere and sampled speech seemingly lost under water or on the airwaves, then instantaneously starts proper. It's at this point you're introduced to the band's impressive technical abilities, and also vocalist Christian James Neale's distinctive, well, vocals €“ obviously. Something that may divide some listeners as it lies in close proximity to the singings style of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of Mars Volta/At The Drive-In, or even Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria, but less operatic and with a little bit of Johnny Whitney from Jaguar Love/The Blood Brothers. However, regardless of your feelings towards Neale's vocal style, you cannot deny his ability with melody. Something that can be heard in clear evidence on the EPs fourth track Wasted Life, a track in which he offers possibly his best vocal performance of the EP that's actually pretty impassioned. Though, the track also a good display of the tight unit playing behind him as they sail between an almost Tool like groove into soaring and emotive atmospherics seamlessly. The band describe their sound as a combination melodic structures, ambience, and aggression, and it's hard not to agree on this EP, as all bases are covered; the ambience and atmospherics of serene interlude Green; the melancholic but melodically uplifting blend of alt rock, post rock and post-hardcore that is Ghost of Everything; the screamo hints that Poison The Feed boasts between frenetic riffs, tension, and just plain silly technical abilities alongside a little taste of classic progressive rock through its arrangements. As debut EPs go, this is surprisingly well crafted, it isn't wholly polished, as it's still a little rough around the edges but then it was recorded in guitarist Kevin Williams' bedroom. Regardless, it's a really enjoyable EP. Think a little bit if Mars Volta had maintained a little more of At The Drive-In's spirit as opposed to extensive psychedelic wig outs with a Latino flavour, but also add into the mix the kind of ambience and experimentation of The Sounds of Animals Fighting, but real catchy when it needs to be.
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Life's last protagonist. Wannabe writer. Mediocre Musician. Over-Thinker. Medicine Cabinet. @morganrabbits