Written by: MAK on 05/09/2015 12:33:19

Never before has an EP reminded me of early to mid-2000’s metal and metalcore so much in the same way that Midwayer’s “Thresholds” has. By that I mean before metalcore became polished and very popular, when it still had a very gritty edge to it and a thriving underground feel to it like it shouldn’t ever be mainstream. You picture venues that are pure dives, grimey and dark and perfect for the music. Then you picture the chaos unleashed in these types of venues, the type of atmospheres that you are surprised that anyone makes it out without an injury, this is the vibe “Thresholds” unleashes.

Musically the St Simons quintet clearly were heavily influenced by that era. On their Facebook page they list Darkest Hour and Parkway Drive as their influences amongst others and I find those two bands are spot on, Midwayer sound like the bastard love child of the two bands in their early days. The Vocal Range of Brandon Priest is astounding, to emulate the deep growls of Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall and adding raspy screams that are very similar to Darkest Hour’s John Henry.

The quality of the instrumentation and production of “Thresholds” is very reminiscent of Darkest Hour’s “The Mark Of Judas” and Parkway Drive’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. Neither of those were well produced, but you got enough out of them to figure out what both bands were about and the same goes with "Thresholds". It is safe to say that Midwayer are far less technical on the guitar front, less of the constant fiddly parts, the 5-piece just let the brutal riffs, ferocious vocals and sheer intensity dominate the EP instead. Though that is not to say that the guitars are completely simple throughout, the melodies and solos in both “Shutters” and “Gaia” are quite captivating.

Apart from the general atmosphere that “Thresholds” delivers, there is not a lot that really stands out. The formula and the potential is there for Midwayer to make something of themselves, but at the moment there is a sense of sounding very generic for their level. That should not be taken away from the fact that “Thresholds” is an absolute pit starter. The Breakdowns in “Before The Flood” you just know will unleash hell when they play it live.

Midwayer have created a solid EP in “Thresholds”, but have a long way to go to get really noticed in a very saturated scene. “Thresholds” contains all the right elements you’d want, the vicious harsh vocals, earth shattering riffs, high intensity and energy, the right ingredients to get you pumped to fight some invisible ninjas in the pit. The very raw under-produced sound adds a very likeable character to the EP in the same way it did to “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, but I can’t help feeling that with better production it could have sounded a lot fuller, a lot more professional and people might take more notice.


Download: Shutters, Gaia, Before The Flood
For The Fans Of: Parkway Drive, Darkest Hour, I Killed The Prom Queen, Confession
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 17.07.2015
Imminence Records

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