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REVIEW - Far From Who We Are - 'Sleep In Shadows' (EP - HopePunk Records)

A scream followed by a furious frantic riff and we're straight into 'Sleep In Shadows', the great new EP from South African trio Far From Who We Are. Mixing emo, alternative rock and, at times, various pieces of melodic metal riffing, the EP features five tracks that are full of twists and turns and that at times can soothe and at others take your breath away. Recorded, mixed and mastered at the band's own recording studio - The Laundry Room in Johannesburg - the EP's sonic textures are outstanding and shows off Johan Heyns' production skills to fine effect, along with his fiery guitar playing, his brother Maarten's solid bass playing and Kyle Williams' powerful, masterful drumming.

Opener 'D.O.M (Death Of Me)' is a powerful statement of intent for the EP with its brutal guitarwork and soaring choruses and is followed by the slightly more introspective 'Rise', its textures perfectly mirroring the lyrical content about escaping a dark place or difficult situation. The title track follows next - a collaboration with HeadFury and Wonderwolf's Gideon Kretschmer on another dynamic track that see-saws between angsty, twisting, intricate riffing and softer, 'dreamier' textures, while 'This War' (featuring South African musician Nicolas Gonzalez) plays host to a catchy, hypnotic beat on the EP's most commercial track. In some ways, the best is left to last with closing track 'Polluted' - a complete change of pace, the track being a melancholic sounding ballad that brings the EP to a soulful, emotional close.

'Sleep In Shadows' is a fine release from an intelligent, talented band who flit between genres and sonics to weave and create intriguing, hard-hitting rock music. Fans of the likes of Muse, Sevendust and Deftones will find much to enjoy in 'Sleep In Shadows' and the EP is hopefully a harbinger of much more to come from this excellent band.

'Sleep In Shadows' is available on all the major digital sites and from HopePunk Records.

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