Extort – Reset EP
Release Date: 01/05/23
Running Time: 22:54
Review by Laura Barnes
Imagine holding a small rock in your hands. It’s black and volcanic, smooth to touch, but with jagged edges all around. Now imagine clenching that rock. Squeezing it so tight that your fingers start to ache and your knuckles turn bone white. Nothing happens at first, but eventually, the first cracks begin to appear, and you are surprised at your own strength. You keep clenching, and the rock finally begins to break apart. First into ten pieces, then one hundred pieces, and then, finally, into dust.
This image is the best way I can describe Extort’s music. Extort are an extreme metal band based in Edinburgh, and “Reset” is their debut EP. I say ‘extreme metal’ because ‘Thrash Metal’ feels too simplistic, but ‘Death Metal’ doesn’t sound right, either. They belong in the same Metal camp as bands like Gojira and Machine Head – a camp that some people would describe as ‘Groove Metal’ , which always strikes me as hilarious. Whenever anybody says the words ‘Groove Metal’ it makes me imagine Rob Flynn dressed as Disco Stu from The Simpsons, which is an image that is equal parts silly and horrifying.
There is nothing remotely Disco Stu about Extort.
The most striking thing about Extort is the heaviness. It is a heaviness so dense and enormous that it leaves you feeling claustrophobic, especially during ‘Omen’ and especially during its finale. I mean, Jesus Christ! Here at Ever Metal, we do tend to use the word ‘crushing’ rather liberally, but this stuff is Crushing with a capital C. Its violent conclusion is made all the more compelling by the brief but effective clean vocals on the chorus that really give the song a good sense of push and pull. Oh, and the solo guitar lick just before the song kicks off? So. Fucking. Epic.
‘Lunatic’ is a song that would no doubt be a crowd pleaser if played live thanks to its big chorus and distinctive, low pitch guitar solo. There is also some top notch guitar and drum work on ‘Variant’ in the form of some explosive chugging and Black Metal-style blasbeats, although this track did seem to meander and overstay its welcome a little. But hey! It’s a debut EP, so I’d be a little put out if there was no meandering at this stage. In any creative pursuit, you have to wander a little before you get to your destination.
Although a tiny bit more work could be put into making each song more distinct and punchier, “Reset” is an EP that features confident musicianship and distinctive ideas. While Extort are heavy enough to break a bear’s back, Seb’s vocals act as an anchor, keeping the songs grounded and focussed. I predict good things in Extort’s future.
Seb – Vocals
Alina – Guitars
Alasdair – Guitars
Fuzz Master – Bass
Caelan – Drums
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