A band that has come to my attention recently is Leicester, UK’s Mage. A five-piece with a long history in various bands, they play a slow, metal-influenced sound that we could easily label ‘Stoner’, but to do so would be somewhat lazy. We currently only have one self-released EP to go on, but the self-released EP contains enough good stuff to get a feel for what Mage is all about.
Listening to the tracks they have recorded, starting with the infectious ‘Chariots of Fire’, I get a sense of all sorts of interesting flavours. Everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd, through early St Vitus, Corrosion of Conformity and even modern-day Southern Sludge are inflected with a unique sound that brings to mind early Metallica. These guys know their chops, with a dense fog of distorted guitar riffing moving slowly over a solid foundation of downtuned basslines whilst the whole powerful sound is underpinned by chunky, cymbal crashing drum slaps. Tempos move from slow to fast and back again. Interest is maintained as the styles change, which in itself is a good thing, as it proves that Mage know how to put a song together – a skill that lamentably few bands seem to have mastered.
‘Legacy’ and ‘Respite’ continue the heavy theme, and the powerful riffing tears at the skin whilst at the same time pleasing the listener. ‘To the Edge’ completes the quartet and leaves me feeling slightly sorry that there is no more. There is enough interest and variety in this EP to leave me bulldozed by the power of the music, bruised and battered yet wanting more of their well-read rock attack.
The band, Moe – Drums, Mark – Bass, Ben – Guitar, Woody – Guitar, Tom – Vocals, are playing live and you can pick up their 7″ release from the increasingly interesting DIY label, Witch Hunter records. I can’t embed the EP in this page, but I suggest you click on this link to go listen for yourselves, and we’ll keep you updated about what the band does next – their Facebook page states that they’re writing songs for a planned LP which they hoe to record later this year.