When Teesside metal/djent collective, A Dying Reign, release an EP of the same name you’d make a pretty strong assumption that there would be themes of death and destruction, which there are. However, you may be less likely though to assume that the EP is created with a strong concept in mind, taking us across the full life cycle beginning with a birth (track 1, ‘Ascension’) and ending in death (track 5, ‘Cinders and Ash’).
Centred on revolution, overpowering those born into privilege, and challenging the status quo, A Dying Reign has created an interesting concept EP about overthrowing social order. Thematically, it’s not too far removed from Megadeath’s ‘Peace Sells… But who’s buying’ album, though even Mr Mustaine never held his foot on the distortion peddle for as long as these guys.
Track one, ‘Ascension’, opens with a strong rock riff, industrial style drumming, and light electronics – not too dissimilar to the opening of ‘Chinese Democracy’ – before exploding into full pounding metal riffs and basslines.
‘Gravity’ gets even harder, breaking into an intense chorus about needing to be held back; presumably, we’ve started the revolution at this point.
The remaining three tracks, ‘Parasites’, ‘No Victim’ and ‘Cinders and Ash’ all do a fine job of telling the story of collapse and ultimate decay, driven on by fine technical playing and an intensity which doesn’t relent.
‘A Dying Reign’ is an EP that is heavy in terms of sound, content and ideas. Whether you like metal or not the musicianship is very impressive, as is the conceptual work.
You can download the EP now at adyingreign.bandcamp.com.