After their acclaimed debut EP, HEX, from last year, Birmingham, UK modern metal act, CREATURE, unveiled HOUND, a solid sophomore 4-track release out on Grey Ghost Records, and the second in an ongoing trilogy of EPs. Post hardcore in essence, and fundamentally presenting a more metallic take on extreme punk, the band's sound is in every respect fleshed out by producer Steve Sears (Gallows, Good Charlotte, The Orchard and tons more), and appears like a very fresh breath of air for contemporary metal.

HOUND is introduced by the ferocious assault of Cold Man's World, which balances perfectly between melody and intensity, while offering a lot of skepticism about some of modern society's ways and man's greed for personal gain. The politically charged accompanying video plays its own part at the solidification of the music's message.

"I've always been intrigued with the dark side of mankind and the moralities of people in power," says guitarist and vocalist, James Thompson. "How does someone get to a point of such extreme dehumanisation that entire populations are seen as a military objective rather than fellow beings? Why can't our leaders agree and implement universal systems to help save the planet and bring aid to those in need? These are the dilemmas expressed in Cold Man’s World."

Similarly merciless, Black Dog toys more arduously with metalcore, while EP closer, Fool's Curse, takes a stab at the more extreme side of CREATURE's sound, leaning toward thrash and death metal to a great extent. In between stands another highlight, the also very much thrash-inclined, Lifeless, which feels like a progressed version of Slayer's latter period, while thematically it tackles the boiling subject of misinformation and the way media handle the distribution of news these days.

James Thompson further elaborates: "I can't express how frustrated I get when people take information fed to us by the media at face value. There is always an agenda at play. Something closer to the truth is available if you know how and where to look, so Lifeless is a vent at how we are manipulated on a daily basis. We're told who the villains are, how we should be investing our time and energy - just to line someone else’s pockets or fulfill their political ambitions. Life is precious, you must value the time you have here, don’t take it for granted."

Being two for two with their EPs thus far, CREATURE have already earned a place alongside the most auspicious and mature acts in contemporary metal, and it doesn't look like they'll be slowing down anytime soon.

Notably the EP's cover art comes courtesy of UK illustrator Luke Preece (Metallica, Ghost, Slipknot).

Video shot by Dom Catena

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