Review Summary: If this EP is any indication, post-hardcore is still alive and well.
There are several things you can do as a band if a genre is dying. You can stomp it into the ground, Sex Pistol's style, or you can try to keep it alive, like Mt. Meridian are attempting on their first EP Emeritus
. The genre I am talking about is, of course, post-hardcore. As quickly as it emerged thanks to bands like Emery, it is now sadly fading out. Mt. Meridian is one of the few bands that are trying to pick up the pieces and now they salvaged a last stand for post-hardcore.
The album's intro is already very effective in drawing you in, displaying a faded out guitar leading up slowly to the climax, which is also the beginning of the next song 'Wander'. This song immediately display's Mt. Meridian's guitar prowess and their singer's formidable vocal capabilities. It must be said, the band's lead singer Mike Rouleau is one hell of a talented singer. His growls are top notch, and the cleans by Peter Quinn are fantastic as well. To make the package complete, they fit together very well, as displayed on 'Night People'. This track is also a fantastic display of musical skill, and shows that they are capable of creating more than just classical hardcore riffs. Musically, the track could have been on Brand New's The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
, at least until Rouleau showcases his amazing growls and turns the song upside down.
The best thing about this EP is that it is so varied in musical style, and that is why it is a very intruiging listen. The guitar playing is often pretty soft compared to the vocals, which creates a very enjoyable, calm vibe. Not that it is present on every song, but I was surprised that the band managed to perfectly balance the agression of the hardcore elements with the more technical and sometimes pretty emotional progressive elements. That vibe can also be found in the pretty dashing drums, which really pop out on several occasions and shift the quality of the songs to an even higher level. If I may refer to Brand New again, the song 'Animal Fair', albeit being an instrumental, showcases so much emotion that I had to check if I wasn't listening to The Devil And God...
As for instrumentals, this band has mastered the art of progressive music. They never get too carried away with insane solo plays, but together, they sound dazzling. You just might forget all about Rouleau's amazing vocals, simply because their instumentals will carry you far away, straight to post-hardcore heaven.
In the end, Emeritus
sounds like a fine blend between progressive, hardcore and other genres I can not quite put my finger on, just the way post-hardcore should sound. Where Mt. Meridian's creative exploits will carry us next I don't know, but I do know that I will treasure Emeritus
as an amazing post-hardcore effort.