To Exist and Endure
Released: 2004, Ibex Moon
Formerly known as Estuary of Calamity, the main collective of said band(guitarist Ash Thomas, drummer Jesse Wilson, and guitarist Brad Howard) have since hooked up with ex Forty Days Longing/Garden of Shadows (who released one record on the Earache imprint Wicked World) member Zdenka Prado and Morticite bassist Steve Eberl and formed a new outfit with the shortened moniker of simply Estuary.
So after that long biography, I'm ya'll wanna know whether these guys rock or not, right? The answer is, "hell yeah they do!" While the muddy production may scare some listeners off intially, those who persevere will find a wealth of innventive and and eclectic death/thrash metal with a hefty dose of technicality and melody in the mix.
On the surface, I'd say these guys remind me of the old deathrash bands of the early 90s, like Coroner and Pestilence, only tempered with a slight European touch to the guitar work. The songs tend to stick to a fast pace, prefering to bombard the listener with notes and riffs, rather than bothering to doom out or anything. This isn't a bad thing, although a little variation and emotion might have been nice. When this does appear, such as in "Of Weakening Stone", the results are, as they say in France, "kick ass".
Ms. Prado is a vocal powerhouse for sure. Going against the common grain of ethereal female singers of raspy Angela Gossow wanna-bees, Zdenka prefers to keep it low and gutteral generally, and succeeds with equal amounts of talent and aplomb. For all you nonbelievers out there, my band The Accursed actually good to play with these guys at this years Snakenet Metal Nations Metalfest in North Carolina, and I can tell you she can pull it off live as well, and then some. She's also pretty gosh-darn cute, as well, but I digress...
I'd say that the best aspect of Estuary is their obvious love and dedication for the metal artform. Nothing here on TO EXIST AND ENDURE sounds fake or forced at all. It's just Metal, pure and simple. So, if honest to goodness extremity is what you're craving, check out a new band on the scene delivering the goods: ESTUARY.--mg