Imagine you’re standing at the top of a mountain, looking at the gorgeous view that befalls you. When you look down, have you ever had the urge to jump? That voice lingers for a solitary, fleeting moment before the very thought horrifies you and you come to your senses. You’re not alone. Science has named this phenomenon L’appel du vide, which translates as ‘Call of the Void’. Yorkshire’s As Sirens Fall have adopted this feeling as the title of their third EP: ‘L’appel Du Vide’.
Hopefully the Yorkshire band aren’t planning anything as reckless as driving into oncoming traffic with this release, but the metaphor of self-destruction rings heavily throughout ‘L’appel Du Vide’. Within these five tracks, we traverse through their own experiences of grief and loss in the most fantastically creative way.
The call begins with a bouncy single released in the latter months of 2019: ‘We Go Down Together’, with gut punching drums from Bailey Roper reminding us of As Sirens Fall’s rock roots. Heavily reminiscent of My Chemical Romance’s Killjoys era, this opening track has a killer, addictive chorus and all the fixings for a fist pumping, rock bop classic when live shows are allowed again. The breakdown is deep and is simply exciting, a wonderful way to kick off this EP.
Gritty, metallic vibes reign supreme in ‘Puppy Squad’ as guitarist Adam Doveston and bassist Jason Doveston provide some wickedly heavy, delicious riffs from the offset. Lord’s hand at screaming is a surprising change from his usual vocal style, but it works perfectly in ‘Puppy Squad’. With a break from character to address the audience for a short monologue, Lord asks ‘Are you feeling alive cutie pie?’ – a line just begging to be announced on stage to a crowd of adoring fans. We will all be screaming along with this in no time at all.
Halfway point ‘Holy Water’ takes a left turn into a piano led piece, building into a rock gospel song. Layers of intricate and beautiful vocals elevate ‘Holy Water’ to an otherworldly dimension and it’s astronomical in its efforts to break As Sirens Fall free from the shackles of being ‘just a rock band’. Lord’s voice radiates throughout and Adam Doveston’s guitar solo towards the end is a stroke of genius.
The most striking track without a shadow of a doubt has to be ‘The Wide Awake Club’. Blink and you may miss it, but upon further listening, you’ll discover the most heart-wrenching depiction of loss masquerading as a charmingly upbeat number. With understated beginnings of rock/pop, then the earthy twangs of bass creep into play before the raw and brutal truth of these lyrics rest upon your heart. You truly feel the gravity of these words at the chorus when Lord notes: ‘of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most’: this authenticity is truly phenomenal.
‘Wildflower’ draws this eclectic piece to a close with Lord’s raw vocals delicately marrying against electronic notes dancing through your mind. You wouldn’t be blamed if you shed a tear for this one, as Lord’s voice cracks at some of these heartfelt words and you can hear the tremor within his breaths. It’s moments like this that remind you how real music is and can be. Strip away all the theatrics of a rock show, costumes and make-up, these are real human beings, with deep and tragic emotions as we all experience. As Sirens Fall are undoubtedly the most ambitious, empathetic and daring band in a long time and this is why we fall in love with records like ‘L’appel Du Vide’.
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