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Sepsiss - 11 11 Award winner

11 11
by Mark Machlay at 29 September 2020, 3:03 AM

SEPISS is a female-fronted metal band that attempts to breathe fresh air into the stale lungs of nu-metal diehards that still want a blend of traditional heavy metal, light synths and urban hardcore that was a major staple in the late 90s and early 2000s. Founded in 2011 in Manchester, NH by singer Melissa Wolfe and guitarist and harsh vocalist William Savant the band set out to take New Hampshire by storm and has gained a small but dedicated following in their home state. With the addition of Cam Loud on guitar Mr. Goodbarz on keyboards and Johnny Impact on bass, they indecently released an EP titled “Badd Blood” in 2019 that was mixed by well-known producer Glen Robinson (ANNIHILATOR, GWAR, QUEENSRYCHE). Their latest release “Almost 11” is an expanded version of that earlier EP with a few more songs to get to the size of their full-length album debut, now backed by label, PAVEMENT.

From the beginning, the strong, passionate vocals of Melissa Wolfe are up front with an obvious comparison to arguably the most pop-friendly metal singer Amy Lee of Evanescence. That would unfairly pigeon-hole her style, however and has also added influences from more symphonic metal pioneers such as a much younger Anneke Van Gierssbergen formally of THE GATHERING or even reaching lilting heights of Simone Simons from EPICA. The heavy screams, harsher vocal stylings - while not without its welcome clean moments that pleasantly remind me of Mike Patton -  of William Savant give the band a nice blended vocal palate that is more varied than a LACUNA COIL in which the male singer mainly stays in the background or does merely harsh vocals from time to time. The guitar work is more nu-metal but think back to when nu-metal was in its prime with LINKIN PARK and OTEP with a generous modern mixing of more hardcore/metalcore acts like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE or AS I LAY DYING.

Captivating vocals and catchy, memorable melodic lines combined with bone-crushing production of the guitars, drums, bass and keys provides for a powerful evolution into the pantheon of metal. “Blacklight Invasion” is a standout and obviously chosen as the band’s featured track from the album, delivering on their unique brand of urban infused metal. It’s hard not to be scared off by the name alone as when I first saw it I imagined a black metal or even more extreme level of metal genre than what I heard. Look beyond the name, let your ears be your guide and if you like what you hear, head to their social media pages and check out their image too because it is striking – looking like European gothic rock with a heavy metal edge . Not being able to tour, the visuals unfortunately are lost on the casual listener and it is such a shame. These are tough times for a fresh band not being able to tour and get their music out to the masses but the band are using social media to their advantage. Recently the band took to their Youtube channel to tease some new music in a series titled “Songs in Quaratine”. But they are also relentlessly posting to their Facebook and Twitter feeds, interacting with fans and keeping the dream alive that metal is far from dead.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Fair to Say
2. To Write Hate On His Arms
3. The Sky is Falling
4. Force You To Lay Down
5. The Swarm
6. Falling Unloved
7. More Then Before
8. Push
9. Blacklight Invasion
10. Sweet Nothings
11. Eyes of Empathy
Melissa Wolfe – Vocals
William Savant – Guitars and Vocals
Cam Loud – Guitars
Mr. Goodbarz – Keyboards
Johnny Impact – Bass
Record Label: Pavement Music


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Edited 31 October 2020

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