Next Door To Heaven – Inside EP
Release Date: 25/03/2021
Running Time: 21:24
Review by Beth Jones
Russia is a mystical sort of place to us here in the West. Vodka and the KGB is about all we know. But there’s one thing that is becoming more and more apparent to me; they know how to make some damn fine metal music. Today’s subject certainly follow that theory. Deep routed in Djent, “Inside”, the latest EP from Progressive Metalcore quartet Next Door To Heaven, packs a hefty punch, exploring the genre in an exciting way.
According to Vocalist/Lyricist Daria Mazunova, the concept of this EP is ‘a fight between a human and a machine and a master/obeying inside one person’. And the placement of her clean vocal style, with some raw distortion on, against the almost industrial, metallic, technical sounds of djent guitars and synth ambience, you do really get a sense of that battle. It’s almost futuristic – the resistance in the fight against the takeover of the machines.
For all it’s technicality and precision, the sound on this EP does not shy away from progressive at all, making it an interesting listen, with twists and turns rhythmically, and epically proportioned walls of noise, that make it pretty consuming, and a little bleak in parts. It’s like being on a frozen plane, having your breath taken away by the force of the icy wind. As this has been another lockdown project, guitarist Evgenii “Gene” Mazunov took on the duties of guitars, bass, and composition for the EP, and used a 9 string Ibanez, which I think gives it that huge sound. There are some fantastic bass synth drops in it too, which wobble your brain.
I think my Favourite track here is the title track. It’s brought down a little in terms of dynamics and has some really thoughtful guitar work during the verses, then it punches in for the chorus. Daria’s vocals are also superb on this track. It’s also not as guitar heavy as the other tracks, giving it more of a balance between all the instrumentation.
My one real gripe with this EP is I would have like just a touch more bass. It’s very treble heavy, and there are occasions where the bass sounds get completely lost in the mix of crunching guitars. And the recording we had was heavily compressed, which made it harder again to pick up the bass. Thankfully, because I’m slow on the uptake, I reviewed this after it had been released, so I was able to listen to it on Spotify, where it isn’t as heavily compressed.
That said, it’s still a very accomplished record, and one for fans of Djent/Metalcore the world over.
01. Dark Alley
03. Unleash The Beasts
05. Flare Up (feat. Lord Nelson, ex-Stuck Mojo)
Daria Mazunova – Vocals, Lyrics
Evgenii “Gene” Mazunov – Guitar, Bass, Arrangement, Composition
Pavel Lokhnin – Drums
Daria Mazunova – Vocals
Evgenii “Gene” Mazunov – Guitar
Oleg Ermakov – Bass
Pavel Lokhnin – Drums
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