Neon Empire – Wrath
Dublin metalcore wrecking-crew pulverise the senses on awesome new single.
The brain-child of guitarist and co-vocalist Hasan Ali, and originally intended to be a solo project, Dublin metalcore band Neon Empire have been on the scene for a relatively short time.
To say that they have made every moment count is an understatement of epic proportions.
The bands’ line-up is completed by vocalist John Collard, bassist Tom Ambrose and drummer Veronika Svecova. With the addition of each new member, Neon Empire swiftly became a cohesive writing unit. Together, the group fleshed out a unique, individual sound whereby the band gleefully experiment with the established metalcore formula by adding elements of electronica, dance and even prog rock, to their palette.
It’s very clear that this is a troupe of musicians that take pleasure in “pushing metalcore to its absolute limits” and, thus far, they are gearing up to stand shoulder to shoulder with stalwarts of the genre like Bring Me The Horizon, Architects and I Prevail.
Neon Empire’s first single ‘This Clarity’ has been viewed a mightily impressive 78,000 times since its release in November 2019. The band built on that success with another single ‘Closer To The Light’, before setting the Irish metal scene alight with their gargantuan Debut EP ‘Distorted Reality”.
Keen to reach even greater heights in 2021, Neon Empire explode back into action with the savage sonic assault that is their latest single ‘Wrath’.
‘Wrath’ is brutal from the offset with dense distorted guitars, guttural screams and break-neck drumming raging over a techno fueled underbelly. Its primal, unapologetically heavy, and immediately makes a statement. This band is not messing around.
It’s not long before the innovative side of Neon Empire comes to the forefront. Synths and other sonic embellishments create a staccato style rhythm, and a more melodic vocal stretch moves the song along nicely. The leather and lace contrast between Collard’s vocal savagery and the silken tones of Ali’s voice complement each other marvellously and either propel or diversify proceedings as required.
The chorus sees the group transcend to anthemic territory with a glorious fist-bumping refrain and an upswing in tempo that is hair-raising and even operatic in its eardrum-bursting grandeur. Weaving melody and ultra-aggressive metal together to expertly fashion a beautifully bleak and brutal futuristic landscape.
Such is ‘Wrath’s foreboding wall of noise, one could be forgiven for thinking that such an audible feast could be impregnable or even intimidating. Quite the contrary. There is a benevolence at the core of Neon Empire’s music that keeps the listener tethered to reality. The fervent lyrics and melodic interludes serve as reminders that there is a very human heart beating away inside this mechanised exoskeleton. A ghost in the machine that refuses to be denied.
Production-wise ‘Wrath’ is slick and tight. The mixing by Josh Sid Robinson should be commended as it often a challenging task to perfect the balance between metal tradition and modern innovation. Here the two exist in tandem and the juxtaposition from one to the other feels natural.
Along with the spectacular music video that accompanies this release (recorded by Olga Kuzmenko of Record Replay Productions at Beatbox Club, Dublin), ‘Wrath’ is the total package when it comes to metalcore in 2021. Neon Empire have graduated from diamonds in the rough to shining, quite brilliantly, like the edge of a blade being swung at decapitating speed. They are poised to be the face of the Irish metal scene for the next decade. Those who get in their way will have to contend with their furious ‘Wrath’.