It seems like in the past few years, with the advent of improved digital means of recording/distributing music that the floodgates have opened and so many bands have sprung out. No genre has seen this to the same degree as “djent” has, but traditional metalcore is not far behind. Coming from one of the best-known states for great heavy music (if you didn’t know this, educate yourself), North Carolina’s EVER AFTER have released their debut EP, What/Matters/Most. From the beginning, it’s evident that these guys are talented. Featuring all the requisite hardcore fury and metal tenacity, the record flies by. The production is quite solid for an unsigned band, which also helps. Don’t let my verdict fool you, a six out of ten certainly means I enjoyed the album, but while EVER AFTER’s debut shows promise, the band needs to break itself a bit from the metalcore pack to maintain my interest. With this short release, it showcases that this band has the potential to be rather good. For now, I would compare them most closely to FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS, so fans of their style will enjoy this. The best song on the EP is undoubtedly the band’s cover of YELLOWCARD’s “Only One”, which takes all the emotion from the original and adds in some nicely-placed screams to enhance the song. I wouldn’t say it is better than the original, but it performs the rare feat of being good enough that I like it on its own. Overall, there is enough to enjoy for the EP, but the band needs to differentiate itself from what the rest of the metalcore genre is doing to be more compelling. – by Nicholas Senior
Recommended Listening: “Nothing is Over” and “What Matters Most”
Release Date: January 17th, 2012
Recorded at: Think Sound Studios
In Conclusion: There is talent and some solid execution here, but the band needs to distance itself a bit from the metalcore pack to make a splash on future releases.