When Teeside metal/dient collective A Dying Reign, release an EP of the same name, you’d have a pretty strong assumption that there would be themes of death and destruction. Which there are. You may be less likely though to assume that the EP is created with a strong concept in mind, taking us across the full life cycle beginning with a birth (track 1, ‘Ascension’) and ending in death (track 5 – ‘Cinders and Ash’).
Centred around revolution, over powering those born into privilege, and challenging the status quo, the Reigners have created an interesting (metal) concept EP about overthrowing social order. Thematically it’s not too far removed from Megadeath’s ‘Peace Sells… But who’s buying’ album, though even Mr Mustaine never held his foot on the distortion peddle for as long as these guys.
Track One, ‘Ascertion’ opens with a strong rock riff, industrial style drumming, and light electronics, not too dissimilar to the opening of Chinese Democracy, before exploding into full pounding metal riffs and basslines. Intense, heavy, dark and well produced it’s clear and sounds excellent.
Gravity gets even harder breaking into an intense chorus about needing to be held back, presumably we’ve started the revolution at this point. The hardest track on the EP, Gravity certainly keeps us grounded.
The remaining three tracks, Parasites, No Victim and Cinders & Ash all do a fine job of telling the story of collapse, and ultimate decay, driven on by fine technical playing and an intensity which doesn’t relent.
A Dying Reign is an ep that is heavy both in terms of sound, content and ideas. Wehter you like metal or not, the musciisnaship is very impressive, as is the conceptual work. If you like your metal strong, pounding, intense and relentless then you’ll love this. If you don’t then maybe you’re the Dying Reign in question.