I never thought I’d see the day where there would be a decent Metal / Stoner Metal / Doom Rock band alive and kicking down the doors from Leicester. I could be biased, especially as I’ve been in bands with Mage singer songwriter Tom Smith, and I’ll happily argue that criticism down, but honestly, Mage are a cut above the rest. It’s a little bit surreal, you get given a CD by one of your best mates, he asks you to review it, you listen to it, and not only is it damned good, you then have to tell him how good it is. It’s at this point you realise that whatever you tell him, there is a good chance he might think you’re saying it to be nice. This damned 4 track EP has been living in my car, possessing my driving habits since it’s release. I’m not entirely convinced that the phrase “Yes officer, but I was only doing a hundred, but the music made me do it, and I’m very sorry about the numerous casualties” will work in a court of law.
The EP consists of four tracks “Chariots on Fire”, “Legacy”, “Respite” and “To The Edge”. So let’s get the negative stuff out of the way before I continue to tell you how awesome the other three tracks are. “Legacy” the second track on the EP, is the one I always skip, it just doesn’t appeal to me. If you’re seriously into Doom Metal I’m sure you’ll love it, but really not my sort of thing. So that’s the negative out of the way.
The opening track should probably come with a warning, starting off with a dark moody guitar riff that gives a hint of what’s to come. If you are holding a beverage of any type, put it down, for the love of god, for the sake of the children, do it. It’s not just the sheer volume, it’s the transition from a clever subtle little riff from Ben, to a force 10 vicious metal onslaught of just literally, everything, ripping out of your speakers, “Slow burn, One thousand ways to feel, The Earth turn”. Mage have arrived, and they’ve just taken a 10lb lump hammer to your house. Just to compound matters, you swear that there’s an element of James Hetfield quality to Tom’s vocals, but without the “AAHHH” on the end of every song line.
“Respite” and “To The Edge” (third and foruth tracks respectively) have got a fantastic hefty groove that just sweeps you along in the ensuing metal maelstrom. It’s a truly magnificent debut EP from five truly talented musicians. Should you get the opportunity to see them live, take it without hesitation.