Cambion are a metal band from the southwest of England, formed in late 2009. According to their spiel, they "strive to set themselves apart from the genres of metal to create their own individual style, based on influences such as Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Divine Heresy." So they're not setting themselves apart from Meshuggah, Fear Factory and Divine Heresy then? It's always dangerous to say things like this in a press release, as it makes it really hard to live up to your own hype. Better to say you're trying to do your own thing as best you can and let other people, like me, decide whether you've set yourself apart.
In truth, Cambion aren't really all that different. There's nothing here that we haven't heard before, but that's actually not an issue. Instead of telling us how different they are, they should just shut up and get on with it, because the things they are doing are very good. There's variety on this EP, which is a fair effort when you only have a showcase of five tracks. I could hear other influences in the tracks - or at least, I was reminded of other bands. In Flames, Trivium and Scar Symmetry spring to mind, for example.
Regardless, this EP stands on its own merits. These guys are young, but their sound defies their lack of years. The tracks on Last Rites are mature in construction and execution. The recording is great, the levels are strong and the music is as tight as a Scotsman in a crowded bar. (I can say that, as I have Scottish heritage.)
The combination of a screaming metal vocal and a more melodic voice (which is where my Scar Symmetry comparison came from) works really well. They have a good concept of building power through slamming drums and grinding guitars, then stripping their sound right back to give us space to breathe before the next assault. The lead breaks are sharp and not overly wanky, the drums are machine gun accurate and, being an EP, nothing outstays its welcome.
I'll be really interested to hear what these guys come up with on an album length release. But from what I've heard here, it should be good. From one five-track EP I'm a Cambion fan and will definitely be watching out for more.
Incidentally, in medieval legend, a cambion is the half-human offspring of the union between a human male and a succubus, or of an incubus and a human female. So there's that too.
Last Rites, the EP from Cambion, is out now through Bored Stiff Records.