Escape To What - 'Exit Wounds'
The industrial-metal project Escape To What is the brain-child of James Orez who, after three years of home recording, musical development and personal experiences, brings us his debut album: ‘Exit Wounds’.
The first thing that’s apparent is the solid level of production.
There’s an immediate and effective use of sampling, panning and strong mastering on the first, and indeed every, track.
A true sense of drama and almost suspense opens the title song, 'Escape To What'.
The hard-core vibe then balances well with the tamer vocals, allowing for some paced musicality to bring the whole album to a coherent rise and fall throughout each track.
Orez’s passion is certainly apparent here: “I can feel my madness slowly taking over, hiding in the shadows, snarling like a demon”, a lyric from 'Hear Me Rattle', paints a deliciously dark image of expression typically found in experts of the genre and a bare insight into pain and experience.
Virtuosic riffs and melodies give way to colourful lyrics, from introverted angst to the simple fury of the track 'Vacant’: “everyone can fuck right off” showing that passion is clearly the driving force behind the album’s ethos.
It’s not all about pain though. 'Doomed Hologram' has an (ever-so-slightly) one-dimensional yet somehow busy feel to it, with not as much dynamic variation as other more standout tracks
Orez demonstrates a great deal of musicianship, both with his creative production and versatility, with instrumentation through the delicate piano motifs in 'Rose Coloured Glasses' and 'Corridor'; both interesting instrumentals giving the album overall a sense of pace and contouring – acting as a deep breath between hard-hitting lyrics.
The lack of variation with the vocals’ timbre helps us build a relationship with the singular voice, and establishes a style which will appeal to fans of grunge, hard-core and the generally bopen-minded.
Orez has done well to build a signature sound with his debut album, which of course allows for development as his musical journey progresses.
Not sure what is meant by the track 'Pareidolia'? Don’t worry – a brief working definition is given at the start. This one particularly illustrates how the whole album has been mastered, with focus being on the well-written and considered lyrics, while fuzzy riffs and digital FX take an audio backseat.
The artist is without question a passionate guy, having expressed his inner demons not only through contemporary and emotive music, but art, with the cover of his album based on his original acrylic painting.
His passion, anger and drive behind his first twelve tracks show a raw strength of determination and craftsmanship, breaking into a great pocket of metal – it makes you wonder what great things are to come in his next project...
The album will be out on December the 14th, and will be available on most major online streaming services.
For fans of: Rammstein, White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails
Standout tracks: Escape To What, Vacant, This Place Is Killing Me