EP REVIEW: Networks – Schemata Theory

Berkshire metalcore five-piece SCHEMATA THEORY have been a bit quiet over the past couple of years, but they’ve come back all guns blazing with their new EP, Networks, which is an absolute joy from start to finish. At just three tracks long, it’s slightly on the short side, but what this EP lacks in length it makes up for in volume and sheer brilliance of musical composition.

Opening track Our Only Home kicks off with an assertive, galloping riff that grabs your attention straight away and it’s impossible not to headbang to. The seamless interplay between Luke Wright‘s clean vocals and Myles Dyer‘s screams is wonderfully executed, and the band manage to distinguish themselves from the typical metalcore mould of screamed verse, whiny chorus, screamed verse and so on and so forth. This is due in part to the unique and beautifully melancholic tone of Wright‘s voice, which soars over urgent guitars and pummelling drums. A strong political theme runs throughout Networks, with politician speech soundbites woven into the climatic conclusion of the first number and final track Horror Show.

There’s a whiff of SIKTH about the EP, and just so happens that the record is produced by former SIKTH vocalist Justin Hill. His influence can certainly be heard particularly on Our Only Home, but this does not detract from the songwriting prowess of SCHEMATA THEORY.

Second track New Vision opens with clean, melodic guitars, before launching into a post-hardcore style riff, assisted by Dyer‘s screams and intermittent cleans from Wright. The melodic catchy chorus is a blinder, as is the guitar solo and breakdown section which is reminiscent of Finch. EP closer Horror Show has already had its fair share of attention, having aired on BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. It’s an ambitious 4 and a half minutes, with subtle strings adding to the illustrious texture and dexterous guitar work. A final climatic build up ends Networks on a contemplative and wistful note, containing layers of old political broadcast soundbites which fade out to a faint murmur. Considering the current political climate surrounding the EU Referendum, it is oddly and perfectly timed.

There is definitely something special about SCHEMATA THEORY and this release spurs an addiction for days afterwards, which can only be satisfied by hitting the repeat button. It’s refreshing in the 21st century to hear a band try and do some a little different – let’s hope a second full length album is on the horizon.

Rating: 8/10

Schemata Theory - Networks

Networks is out now.

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