The Binary Code – Priest
Starting out an EP with a short instrumental like “Ocean of Light” is a ballsy move. The first notable thing about the EP is how muddy the production is. All the instruments seem coated in filth. It saps much of the power out of the three songs, but the band works through it and makes the best out of the situation. Their playing is never in doubt; even on a tame opening track like “Ocean of Light,” the band is meticulous and tight with their performance. The sloppy playing that was prevalent on Suspension of Disbelief is a thing of the past.
The other two tracks are indicative of the mindset that the band is currently in. The title track pushes forward with a mid-tempo pace, occasionally picking up to blistering levels of intensity. The vocals are the same harsh high and low screams that were on the last album; an acquired taste, for sure. The Binary Code is technical without going over-the-top and the title track is proof of that. The band loosens up on “Encircled,” with ear-splitting guitar work that provides a bit of flash to the EP. The abrupt piano outro is a dark touch that ends things on an ominous note.
A cheesy 8-bit instrumental version of the title track is tacked onto the end of the EP, but for all intends and purposes, things wind down with “Encircled.” Priest does what any EP is supposed to do; show off the band’s current direction and wet the appetite of fans that need more of their favorite band. Anybody looking to get into the band would be better off getting Suspension of Disbelief, as Priest is a decent EP brought down a few pegs by awful production and a lackluster opening instrumental.
By Dan Marsicano