Verbatim is a Staten Island band that I have had the pleasure of working with and playing shows with. They are a fantastic hardcore/metalcore band that blew me away the first time I saw them live. Comprised of vocalists, Keenan WIlliams and Peter Martingano, guitarists, Joe Bushman and David Lefcort, bassist, Marcin Hamielec, and drummer, Mike Giglia; these guys are doing exactly what they said they were on their Tumblr: "…We're here to take the world by storm."
Last week they released their first EP, What We're Made For, and as expected, it did not disappoint.
The opening track of the EP, "Desire & I" is a strong foray into everything Verbatim has. It alternates between soft melodic parts with echoing vocals into transitions of heavy guitars and drum driven breakdowns through deep growls. The song is a plea to a girl name "Desire," before we learn of unfaithfulness and letdown spiraling the song into a frantic thrash breakdown with the singer whispering under the screams matching the themes perfectly.
"The Untamed Animoid Pt. 2" opens up much punkier than the rest of the album. However, the term punky is used loosely here as the song quickly changes into their metal core roots for the chorus. Throughout the track the dynamic of the vocals switch back and fourth nicely between the clean vocals and screams.
While this first track was almost seven minutes long, this song takes the listener further on a musical journey in shorter time making for one of the most unique musical experiences I've heard. Three minutes and on in this song is one of my favorite parts of a song ever.
Just when the song starts picking up, it cuts into a small dub step part, which then jumps into a quick breakdown followed by a slower one. Clean vocals come back in spoken word style while the music thrashes in the background. A bluesy interlude leads the song into perfect chaos, as it closes out melodically.
The EP closes out with, "Deliverance." A monologue fits nicely over good guitar and bass work in the intro before erupting into screaming over wailing guitars.
Toward the middle of the song, everything drops out and the song seems to end. Then a softer musical part enters in almost like a hidden track. At the end of this little interlude we are introduced to vocals going back and fourth along with a pulsing breakdown ending the song aggressively.
Overall this EP is a great dive into the local music scene and a great contribution to the metalcore genre. The production and quality is great as well as the skill and talent from the band.
I've seen the band live before and they put on a great show, as well as show off their knack for dabbling into other styles of music. Live, I've seen them play some hip-hop/jazz instrumentals for Kenan to rap on, and they also used to have synth in their music which added so much to the sound. Overall my biggest complaint is that it was only three songs, but averaging around six minutes a song will have to do for now. So look out for Verbatim, and support them as they try to get on Warped Tour!
Listen to the album on Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/verbatimtheband