Review: Stories Through Storms – Echo




Artist: Stories Through Storms
AlbumEcho

Stories Through Storms has been making waves in the music scene since their inception. Having released two EPs, both of which were self-recorded, produced and released, they’re really beginning to come into their own. However, it is their upcoming third EP, Echo, that will turn heads in more ways than one. Not only was it helmed by famed producer Andrew Wade (A Day to Remember, Wage War, Across the Atlantic, etc), it’s easily their best work to date. In terms of the level of production that was brought to these songs, you’d think it was a new band. However, save for a few line-up changes, they remain the same hungry, driven individuals that started the band back in early 2013. Vocalists Storm Ruby and Austin Spencer-Androes have found the perfect balance between each other’s strengths, resulting in a strong foundation for the sound that defines STS. That sound, which combines the heavy, riff-driven nature of metalcore, with the catchy, soaring hooks of pop-punk, is what sets them apart from others.

Echo is, without a doubt, their breakout EP for so many reasons. While their previous EP, What Keeps Me Up at Night, had a strong emphasis on dark, emotional and personal lyrical content.. it didn’t get the reception that it deserved. However, when the band teamed up with Andrew Wade, they had a vision in their heads and it was expertly achieved. Still continuing to speak on their personal experiences in life, they will find their audience connecting with their music in ways they never thought. A piercing synth melody opens up the album with “Bury Me,” one of the more pop-driven tracks on the EP. From the beginning, though, you begin to get a sense of how well these vocalists mesh together. It isn’t until the breakdown, though, that you really get a punch in the face, as they scream at each other back and forth. This song has a theme of never backing down and, indeed, the EP as a whole shows that they refuse to give up. They’ve struggled, they’ve made enemies and they’ve made mistakes but they’ve grown so much over their already incredibly impressive five year career.

Each chorus on the album is catchier than the last and some, admittedly, will stick much more than others. For example, I’ve found myself revisiting the gang-chanted “whoa-oh’s” on “Anthem (For the Broken)” many a time. However, for those who want something on the heavier side, you can visit “Dark Heart.” Arguably their heaviest song to date, it might just replace “Rage” as the pit-starter in their set. Explosive from beginning to end, you can be sure you’ll find your head banging. The amazing thing about this track is that, even given its heavy nature, the chorus creates a wonderful contrast that is easily recognizable from almost anything else on the EP. Think of it as being thrown into a deep, dark pit and the chorus is the light at the top, which you’re slowly climbing towards.

My favorite track on the album is the closer, “Spectrum” which lends a helping hand from All Hail vocalist, Leya Siri. If ever there was a chance for them to have a radio single, this one would be it. Ruby experiments with another side of his vocals, creating rap pre-choruses to further the unique nature of this track. This made more impressive by the fact that, prior to this track, we’ve only heard scream-rapping (akin to bands like Attila) in their music. For those unaware, this is when a cluster of lyrics are screamed in a quick burst, giving the feel of a rap song, but in a metal style. The star in this track, though, is Spencer-Androes and his incredible range that goes from melodic singing to angst-driven yelling within a split second. Siri‘s voice, a soft, haunting melody creates a beautiful and atmospheric contrast to the rest of the song and, if I’m honest, the entire EP.

Echo is more than a collection of songs. It’s a deep, introspective look at what these guys have been through over the years. Every aspect of this release is more impressive than the last. Lyrically, they’ve never been stronger. Musically, they’ve never sounded tighter or more in-tune with one another. Their decision to work with Andrew Wade was one that, while risky, is going to pay off in many ways. You can view music videos for the four pre-release singles below. Let them know what track is your favorite and, above all, be sure to pick it up on January 4th! 2019 is going to be their year and if you’ve slept on STS thus far, you might wanna get familiar!

 

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