“This is where we hold them. This is where we fight. This is where they die!” Gerard Butler’s epic words in 300 as the Spartan’s go head first into battle. It is one of the greatest movie quotes in modern cinema history there is no doubt about it, and it is used to incredible effect as a way to open an EP. Ladies and gentlemen, Alpha has arrived. And as much as I’d love to believe King Leonidas is somewhere in the Elysian fields, right now this is the only Afterlife I care about.
With a mighty riff in the vein of Mark Tremonti we open up with the EP with a song based on the 300 Spartans, aptly titled, “300“. Within a few seconds, I can tell I’m going to like what follows. And I’m right! The thunderous drumming, the powerful vocals… It all combines to become something a little special. Each instrument complimenting the other to become the perfect fusion of rock!
The second track, “Don’t Come Cryin’ To Me” has been floating around online for a while now and there was a pretty good promo video done for the song not so long ago. This is the song that initially got me excited for Afterlife and made me believe whatever was coming was going to be worth the wait.
Without breaking down each of the six songs on the EP, what I can say with absolute certainty is that every song in the EP is it’s own. No song sounds similar to another, nothing sounds like a lazy photocopy of a previous track and it all sounds fresh and new.
It’s nice to see Al Reilly’s guitar playing hasn’t lost any of it’s shine as he rips up a few blistering solos through this EP. Support comes from rhythm player, Stewart Brown and the two guitar players play off each other perfectly. The drumming on the EP, again top notch. Iain Stratton was born to play the drums, there is no doubt about this. Steve Reilly completes the rhythm section with his, as ever, brilliant bass work.
A special mention goes to the voice of Afterlife, Pete McCoy. And let me tell you, it’s an amazing voice! Occasionally on the EP there’s a few notes that Myles Kennedy would be proud of.
It’s clear to see the inspiration these guys take from the likes of Alter Bridge though. (not hard to understand when you consider 3 out of 5 members of the band accompanied them on a European Tour or two in the past.) But, in what some called an “Americanized” style Afterlife take the tried and tested formula set down by bands such as Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, etc and without changing it and reinventing it, still manage to do something unique and good enough to stand on it’s own two feet with ease.
If I have one gripe about the EP then it’s a small one. It’s an EP. I want more. By the time I got to the end I felt like I’d just listened to half an album and wasn’t able to get the rest! I’ll tell you what though, I’m really looking forward to hearing these guys live to see what they can accomplish with a live crowd. Hopefully I won’t be waiting too long to see that little dream come to fruition.
Bands like Dirty Rose, Attica Rage, The Amorettes, Komatoze, Afterlife etc, it makes me feel proud that Scotland is producing such quality home grown talent again! All in all, if Alpha is the sign of things to come from Afterlife, I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings. It’s clear Afterlife have a lot of potential, ability and talent to go all the way to the top.