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Album Review: Renae - And Hell Follows EP

Post-hardcore band Renae list Mewithoutyou, Poison the Well, The Chariot and At The Drive In as influences on their official website, and they have blended them together seamlessly while also creating their own unique sound for their latest EP, 'And Hell Follows' Recorded live in the studio to retain the power and rawness of their sound, the five song EP takes the listener on a journey that shows them to be just that.

The album begins with “Conquest”, which starts things slow and showcases Stephens voice. A slow build fades before we are introduced to one of many of Renae’s aggressive and excellent tempo changes. It also introduces us to Stephens screaming vocals, which while not matching up to his regular vocals are still more pleasant than most. It leads into “War” which begins with guttural screams backed by intense and pounding guitars, before speeding up again and bringing in backing gang vocals. This song really shows off what Renae can do, as not only do they change the speeds of their song without missing a beat, but they also mix up the styles of their songs without coming off as forced or contrived. Metal screaming, pop punk style gang chants, technical guitar playing, and atmospheric instrumentation with soft vocals might not sound like they mix together well, but Renae makes it work.

“Famine” starts off in a way that will have most banging their heads and pumping their fists, as Stephen screams “We won’t fail, we won’t stop, we gotta keep up the fight”. It might not keep up this intensity through the whole song, but remains an interesting listen throughout. “Pestilence” starts with a break from the relentless pace of earlier songs and gives the drums and then the guitars a chance to shine. The almost eerie melody shows that Renae don’t always have to go really heavy to be effective. It contains the least screaming in any of the songs, instead placing them in the peak of the song. It all ends with “Death”, which combines all the elements of the previous songs and ratchets them up a little more. It ends with Stephen musing “What will become of my soul?” before the backing vocals gravely chant “And hell follows” and the song slowly fading away.

Renae have packed a lot of ambition into a five track EP, and at 21 minutes it definitely has the feel of a miniature epic. It will be interesting to see what the band can do with the power of a full album, as there are a lot of ideas, styles and influences crammed into the EP. The fact that it was recorded live in the studio makes it all the more impressive, as it shows how talented they are as musicians. Now they are signed to Hotfoot Records hopefully this means the world will see more of Renae very soon.


'And Hell Follows' by Renae is available now on Hotfoot Records.

Renae on MySpace.

Jamie Kirk

Alter The Press!