Review Summary: An unfortunate step away from something that could have been quite memorable...
[ih-lee-tist ey-lee‐]: (of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society: elitist country clubbers who have theirs and don't care about anybody else.”
This definition should sum up what Elitist SHOULD be. As a matter of fact, it definitely describes what the band COULD have been. Don’t get me wrong; while I might be talking in the past tense here, there is still a future for Elitist. However, with releases like “Earth,” it’s hard to imagine how bright that future might actually be.
Elitist made their mark on the Metalcore scene in mid 2010 with their first EP entitled, “Caves.” After its release, the album soon became an underground success and many people deemed Elitist as a more than competent Metalcore band. While they didn’t really do anything too abstract or different, Elitist presented listeners with a fresh sound filled with ambient guitar passages, technical lead work, and breakdowns that would make even the most passionate of breakdown haters nod their heads in approval. Most importantly, Elitist formed their very own sound. While it wasn’t anything that was truly changing the scene, it was definitely something that grabbed the attention of everyone who bothered to give Elitist a listen.
So, here we are, barely a year later with yet another EP being released by Elitist. Many wonder why the band chose to release another EP instead of an LP. While many may scoff at the fact that the band has yet to release their full length, it must be noted that there has been two notable member changes since Elitists’ last EP, “Caves.” Between the time of the release of “Caves” and their newest EP, Elitist lost both their drummer and vocalist. They have since been replaced by two new members, Alex DeHeart (vocals) and Andrew Slane (drums). These changes can certainly be considered to have influenced the band to release another EP instead of a full length. Whatever the reason for their decision, however, it is certain that, with the recent member changes, Elitist’s overall sound has taken a turn for the….well….boring.
Excluding the very stagnant intro, “Earth” only contains 3 real songs (two of which begin with breakdowns right out of the gate). This, of course, is one of the most disappointing factors about the EP. The rest of the space left after the inclusion of an intro and only 3 songs was lackadaisically filled with instrumental tracks of the EP’s actual songs. While the album is short, it does have its moments. Its not “Caves,” but its certainly not terrible. The instruments are still inspiring and quite technical. However, while some elements of “Earth” are better than “Caves,” in the end, “Earth” falls flat on its face in many sections. While there are some awesome highlights throughout the EP, such as the beginning breakdown to “Of Creations” and the final lead melody in “Fracture,” there are just as many, if more, glaring downfalls to this, what could have been, amazing EP.
First of all, the inclusion of Alex DeHeart is proving to be one of “Earth’s” biggest problems. While Elitists’ last vocalist wasn’t the best front man in the world, he did manage to fit their style very well. As well, his range was pretty decent. DeHeart, however, seems to have little to no range at all. Most of his vocal repertoire consists of a bellowing incoherent growl that rarely EVER seems to change. While he does have his moments, all in all, his vocals are less than impressive and hold the EP back on many levels. However, DeHeart is not the only problem with “Earth.” The overall sound of the EP is disappointing. Every song is similar in one way or another. The first “song” on the album is entitled “Pulse.” All this track does is take up room and serves as filler for an EP that is already quite short. The next song “Specter” is a very uninspired song to start the album. There is nothing really at all that stands out about the track. The only two things not deeming this EP as a complete bust is its last two songs, “Of Creations” and “Fracture,” which happen to both be pretty great songs that contain some pretty catchy riffs, melodies, and breakdowns.
In the end, “Earth” is NOT a horrible EP. However, it’s definitely not a great one and CERTAINLY not the step in the right direction that Elitist needs. As a matter of fact, it’s more of a step back, per se. At this point, it’s disappointing to see a band with the talent that Elitist ultimately possesses to squander their capabilities with such a boring and average EP release. Here’s hoping that their next effort will be the step forward that they truly need.