Altus are a band very new to the Northern Irish metal scene, and have only been together since late last year. The band members were brought together sharing experiences from being in previous bands. I have seen them perform only once at their debut performance at this years inaugural Helfast metal festival in Belfast. I was impressed by the music on display that day, in which the songs from this four track EP were performed.
Opening EP title track “Non Omnis Moriar” is nothing more than a short gentle guitar intro which for what it is, it sets up a dark kind of ambience for what follows. It’s in similar vein to what I have heard from the likes of Tool and does sound great but you get the feeling it could have been developed more into a song with a nice intro. Its still a nice guitar sound though.
The EP then rolls into “The Nail In The Coffin” which immediately explodes into a nice heavy riff that grumbles with the vocals that come in over it. The riff does rumble along nicely through the song for the main like a train that keeps rolling heavily along and is great for head banging to. There is a guitar break that slows things down a little towards the last part of the song but overall it’s a nice heavy track.
Second song “Brand New Skies” is my favourite of the three songs here on offer. I do like the lazy kind of vocals in this track. It has a slow dragged out dark and heavy kind of style. Kind of like a metal crossed with grunge feel to it. Once again we are treated to some nice riff work from guitarist Mikk Legge, along with the odd screeching high guitar note held at times which does remind me somehow of a Zakk Wylde style of playing. Go on my son! The drum and bass work also keep things neat and tidy here.
Final track “Beast” is exactly that. Heavy riffs again throughout with some angry growling vocals. What I do love about this track is the great twin solo guitar playing from Mikk and David. I do love the sound of two guitars playing in tandem, and it creates something different to listen to, breaking up the song, and did fit in beautifully.
Overall I really do like the base and foundations that Altus has created with their opening musical offering. They have the basics of great heavy riffs. They provide us with dark, moody and atmospheric sounds. They can change the flow not only in between songs but in the middle of a song. All of this is evident. The sound quality of the recording is good but not perfect. Another song thrown in would have been magic but that’s me just nitpicking now. Generally I am impressed by this young band, and I know next time they release another EP or perhaps an album they will have more experience together as a band from more live performances, and will have developed further. Their sound will have developed and the processes involved in creating studio recordings will have improved so I wait expecting lots of great things coming from this band in the future.
1. Non Omnis Moriar
2. The Nail In The Coffin
3. Brand New Skies
David Brady – Vocals/Guitar
Mikk Legge – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Darran Gourley – Bass/Backing Vocals
Keiran Fitzsimons – Drums/Backing Vocals