Welsh female-fronted quintet Between Waves was born out of the band’s frustration with the lack of diversity in the UK metal scene. Comprising of vocalist Helen Page, guitarists Richard Wood and Lee Wood, bassist Andrew Gordon and sticksman Grant Robinson, the five-piece look to break the mould with their debut EP Paper Chain.
Title track and opener ‘Paper Chain’ is immediately reminiscent of Lacuna Coil in their Comalies era. Helen Page’s alluring vocals soar over intricate melodic guitars, followed by a crushing chorus, with an interesting use of texture and compound rhythms. It’s one of the better and more memorable tracks on the EP and is bound to be a live highlight. Next up is ‘Revelation’, which shows off the guitarists’ noodling skills and ups the metal dose with pummelling riffs and drums.
Recent single ‘Place to Fall‘ sounds a bit 4 Non-Blondes at first, until the grungy guitars kick in during the chorus and the band’s Deftones influences start to shine through. It’s on ‘Deceiver’ where Between Waves start to sound a bit confused. The male/female vocals don’t quite blend together, and the juxtaposition of a heavy barrage of noise during the verses and punky chorus feel a bit disjointed (it’s a chorus that’ll stick in your head though). The EP culminates with big rock ballad ‘Fathom’ which sees the band play with a range of different dynamics – a metal breakdown here, a serene floaty passage with ringing guitars there. Elements of Tool can be heard in the EP’s heavier and more progressive metal moments.
Paper Chains feels more like a mash up collection of the band’s different influences, rather than a whole record. Being Between Waves’ first release, this can be forgiven whilst they find their own sound. The songs aren’t quite big enough to fill large venues yet, though credits are due for trying to do something different, rather than being a carbon-copy of the many other female-fronted metal bands out there.