Hailing from Naperville, IL, The Calm Before is a five-piece group that plays melodic hardcore in the veins of It Prevails, Counterparts, and Hundredth. They formed in 2010 and they've been hard at work ever since, releasing an EP and a few singles, as well as playing several shows. Their newest release, a four-track EP entitled Drift to Me, shows a lot of progression from their previous work and proves that they're here to stay.
There are some fast-paced verses on Drift to Me ("Half Awake" is a fast song), but for the most part, it's a fairly slow-paced release for this style of music; however, that's not a bad thing at all because the slower parts are typically the strongest on the release. The drummer displays a lot of technique and lays a very nice foundation to build upon, one of the guitarists incorporates several goosebump-inducing melodies while the other utilizes dissonant chords and the occasional chug, and the bassist makes himself noticeable - not by blowing you away with technicality , but he's easy to hear - which leads to my next point. The mixing and production is top-notch, which really helps to set this EP apart from anything else the band has released in the past.
Despite the fact that the instrumental aspect of Drift to Me impressed me greatly, the strongest part is the vocals. The vocalist delivers the lyrics with a sense of urgency, and he also sounds very passionate. The vocals are very unique, to say the least, and the only band that I can compare the sound of them with is After Me, the Flood. In addition to the lead vocals, there are some solid backing and guest vocals. The most notable of two guest spots can be heard on the third track, "Rest", which features Dan Lambton (Real Friends). Although Dan's guest spot is just a few lines, he sounds incredible and adds a bit more variety to the song.
My only gripe with Drift to Me is the last minute of the last track, "Burden". There's a build-up, which lead me to believe there was going to be a huge finish (maybe a culminating melodic riff), but the EP just comes to a halt. With that being said, Drift to Me is an excellent release. There isn't much downtime (if any) and it has a very high replay value.