August 10, 2010 | | 3

The Binary Code, Priest

The Binary Code: Priest

The EP format is one of those that fans either truly love or truly hate. I generally could take ’em or leave ’em myself. For one, they allow the band to experiment in a brief format. On the other hand, they allow the band to experiment.

Luckily for us, three of the four tracks on The Binary Code‘s latest EP, Priest kill it while the final track sees the band in a lighter frame of mind, having some fun — albeit annoying fun.

Priest, like most EPs, serves as a nice interlude before the band’s next full length. It showcases the band’s growth in terms of musicianship and their continued willingness to reign themselves in for the good of the song. Sure, the guys still let loose with frenetic flurries showing off their technical and progressive chops like no tomorrow, but there’s also a sense of restraint to the EP’s overall vibe.

The band’s mixture of technical death and progressive elements come together in the two strongest songs, the title track and “Encircled.” Jumpy, yet flowing both songs have enough tempo shifts, starts, stops and eruptions to keep you fully entertained throughout.

Ocean Light
Album opener, “Ocean Light,” sits in the corner of the room like some brooding, moody gorilla. You fully expect it to explode in a fury of territorial rage, but it simply sits there staring at you — much like the doom oriented, crushing riffs that dominate this all too brief instrumental. The Binary Code also inject a nice touch of melody to the guitars in this one.

A bit of a spastic start to the guitars and and drums greet you at the onset of the title track. Once the vocals come in the song settles down for a short bit before jumping into that staggered feel the song opened up with. Vocally, the delivery ranges from a mid-range growl to a more guttural and deeper delivery, often layered with backing growls to give some depth. My only problem with the song is that it doesn’t really seem to go any where. Sure it’s catchy and technical, but there’s no peak to it.

“Encircled” is the more aggressive of the two tracks. The overall feel to the song is much fuller with dense riffs that allow the band to then branch out for a few technical/progressive outbursts. So far the drums for the two tracks have felt a little flat and not too organic, but that could just be me. Between this and the title track, “Encircled” is the bigger of the two with more of a thought out song structure and variety thrown into the mix, including a good bit of piano to close it out.

Priest (8-bit version)
Here’s where EPs aren’t so great — the experimentation part I mentioned previously. Now, I know that this isn’t the direction the band is going to be heading and it’s probably done for shits and giggles, but seriously… One listen is all you need for this, though you’ll probably only make it into the first 15 seconds before bailing.

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