LOUDER REVIEWS: The Five Hundred - A World On Fire
Nottingham five-piece metalcore act The Five Hundred have been making something of a name for themselves through the UK underground metal scene and now return with their sophomore record A World on Fire, which has had over a year of build-up since the release of the album’s first single Black Dogs back in May 2020. Although their acclaimed debut album Bleed Red focused more on introspective lyrics dealing with mental health and personal struggles, A World on Fire (as the name suggests) directly confronts the climate disaster and the devastation that we have the potential to cause.
Aforementioned single Black Dogs kicks things off in the kind of aggressive style that one would expect, not just from any album with such an urgent theme, but also from The Five Hundred’s music up to this point. Bludgeoning and powerful riffs greet the listener along with some intense screams from vocalist John Woods-Ely. The Rising Tide, which is the next of the album’s singles is more groove-oriented with an epic chorus supplemented by some intricate guitar-work from Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty. Our Demise follows this up with some similar sounds, bringing some more electronic and atmospheric elements into The Five Hundred’s blistering sound and with another anthemic chorus. The Warmth is where the album takes a turn for the even heavier (for those who didn’t think things were heavy enough already). Brutal blast beats come in from Kelsey James which hammer the listener into submission.
Following this fantastic start to the album, we are treated to a couple of collaborations. The first of these is Walls of Jericho, which features Cabal’s Andreas Bjulver Paarup to provide extra heft to a song already crammed with frantic rhythms which serve as pure headbang-bait throughout the song’s duration. Your Apocalypse also features a guest performance from Red Method’s Jeremy Gomez which again serves to amp up the ferocity that one stage further in a song filled with infectious hooks. With Scars keeps up the pace and intensity, but offers a few lengthier instrumental sections to change things up a little; whereas Our Curse delivers some lovely vocal harmonies, albeit also alongside some savage blast beats and guitar sections. The record lets up a little bit on Agony to let the terrific vocal work of Woods-Ely take centre-stage before closing with the album’s title track which provides a return to what we have experienced throughout the rest of the record.
A World on Fire has to go down as a very impressive second album from a band who are still trying to make their way up the ladder in the metal scene. Although it would be fair to criticise the record slightly for being a little samey, the running time means that this is not really an issue and The Five Hundred do not outstay their welcome. The hope will be that this record continues to propel the quintet upwards as now that gigs are returning, these songs deserve to be played in front of as big a crowd as possible. Until then though, A World on Fire provides listeners with some seriously crushing and hook-laden tracks that make a fine addition to the metalcore genre.
THE FIVE HUNDRED ARE:
John Woods-Ely | Vocals
Mark Byrne | Guitar
Paul Doughty | Guitar
Andy Crawford | Bass
Kelsey James | Drums
1. Black Dogs
2. The Rising Tide
3. Our Demise
4. The Warmth
5. Walls Of Jericho (feat. Andreas Bjulver)
6. Your Apocalypse (feat. Jeremy Gomez)
7. With Scars
8. Our Curse
10. A World On Fire
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