EP Review: Parting Gift - ‘Ensom EP’
The Manchester quartet will command your attention with their newest EP ‘Ensom’.
Creating their own sonic corner within the quickly evolving post-hardcore territory, ‘Ensom’ delivers a host of raw vocals and enthralling melodies that hit you right at your core. Although the overall feel of the EP is a bleak one, there’s something beautiful to be found within this ability to embrace the pain and serve as a catharsis. Vocalist Zac Vernon says of the EP, “The basis of the entire EP is the feeling of a cold, dark entity making one unable to feel anything. The darkest of dreams and visions, delusions. It is walking the thin line between what is real and what is in your mind. It is the obsession by what is seemingly out of one’s control. A sort of coping strategy for the pain it causes.”
Opening ‘Pale’ doesn’t leave an atmospheric introduction hanging too long before slamming in with ruthless blast beats that will raise your heartbeat with it’s erratic urgency. Melodic vocals soar over the top, singing of pain and the negation of love, seeping through your skin with it’s impassioned delivery. Leaping guitars stab through high notes whilst cymbals crash and fall around, before all gives way to an atmospheric conclusion that gives no hint of the destruction that just occurred for the past 3 minutes. Seamlessly leading into the more docile ‘3:07 (Moonlight)’, haunting guitars sing their lilting song, creating an expansive texture that ebbs and flows as it wishes. There’s a more whimsical quality to this song, and you’ll almost feel like you’re wrapped up in a post-hardcore dream before you listen more closely to the pain underlying the lyricism.
‘Without Sin’ brings with it a heavy chords and a heavier heart, and you’ll get shivers down your spine as the vocals soar over the chorus. Drawn-out in it’s emotional purge, it’s 5 minutes of despair you’ll relish in; after all, we all need a release at some point. ‘Cold’ will send goosebumps up your spine as the band weaves around ethereal electronics and tribal drumming to create an unsettling atmosphere that shouldn’t work with the deceptively bright vocals; it does everything that a good interlude does, and sets the scene for finale ‘Ensom’ which combines catchy melodies with an undeniable torment to leave you harrowed and touched. Within merely an EP, Parting Gift have managed to make a profound mark on the listener, and this makes them a very exciting act to keep your eye on in the near future.
Words by Athena Kam
Parting Gift will hit the road in the UK with Dream State following the EP’s release and will be playing various festivals this summer including Download Festival.
PARTING GIFT UK TOUR DATES:
^ WITH DREAM STATE
28th Reading - Face Bar^
29th Tunbridge Wells - Forum^
1st Guildford - Boileroom^
2nd Oxford - Bullingdon^
3rd Peterborough - Met Lounge^
4th Birmingham - Flapper^
6th Blackpool - Bootleg Social ^
7th Manchester - Deaf Institute ^
12th Newcastle - Think Tank^
14th Leeds - Key Club^
15th Hull - Welly^
16th Nottingham – Rock City Basement^
17th London - Underworld^
19th Norwich - Waterfront Studio^
20th Milton Keynes - Craufurd Arms^
21st Brighton - Hope & Ruin^
22nd Cardiff - Clwb Ifor Bach^
3rd - Dorset - Teddy Rocks Festival
5th - Leicester - Handmade Festival
15th - Download Festival
‘Ensom’ EP is out now via Fearless Records.