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Upon Wings - Last Love

Upon Wings
Last Love
by Matt Bozenda at 30 October 2022, 7:19 PM

Detroit has many reputations, some earned and some a bit unfair. One thing for certain is the city’s status as musician friendly; from the signature Motown Sound, through their own specialized Techno, and all the Classic Rock legends who brought a spotlight to the city, Detroit most definitely has musical credentials.

From among the widely varied acts in the Motor City comes UPON WINGS, whose latest EP, “Last Love”, is a mixture of eased-up Nu Metal and Gothic melancholia. Led by the devastatingly angelic vocals of ANNÉ AUTUMN ERICKSON, the music will inevitably draw comparison to EVANESCENCE, but the differences are stark enough to separate the two in the end. Which side comes out on top will be up to the listener.

The EP is a tale of two sides, the Nu Metal and the Goth.The first two tracks establish a tougher sound, somewhat closer to the mid-90’s brand of Alt Rock which was the forerunner to Nu Metal. The title track actually comes on a bit like Indian Nu Metallers BLOODYWOOD but lacking the same sort of punch. The introduction of the vocals, which sound classically trained, are still delightful to hear against the music’s backdrop.

The real gem is undoubtedly “Eternal Way”, featuring a guitar solo from MAX GEORGIEV (FALLING IN REVERSE) and guitar work with backing vocals from RALF SCHEEPERS (PRIMAL FEAR, GAMMA RAY). The single-worthy track is the EP’s most complete and most decisively Metal song.

The Goth side of the EP comes over the last two tracks. “Scars” goes one step further, delving into the Pop methodology with nothing but drums and a synth. Then comes “The Dream”, an update of a track released at the project’s debut a decade ago. While haunting and powerful in its own way, the track remains frustratingly low-key, as it feels like a build-up with no payoff. The beautiful yet tortured lyrics would be given such incredible depth with something as simple as a thundering bridge and outro, but instead the EP ends on a whisper.

Metal is a beast which cannot be tamed, but UPON WINGS adds to the belief that the beast can at least be soothed. There’s certainly catharsis in both lyrics and vocals, but a want for identity leaves the music in a limbo, editorially speaking. Are they trying to be Nu Metal? Are they trying to be Goth? Do they want to be both? A full album might clear up some confusion, but “Last Love” doesn’t offer any clues as to a desired direction.

Metalheads who prefer their gas-pedals fully pressed will not find anything to like here, and Metalbros will find a lot to specifically dislike. But for those of us searching for delightful female vocals and/or watery Nu Metal should look no further than UPON WINGS. Even though “Last Love” declares nothing, perhaps it will add to the next album’s mystique. Perhaps.

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Last Love
2. Eternal Way
3. Scars
4. The Dream
Anné Autumn Erickson - vocals
Kevin Jardine - guitars
Pepe Clark Magaña - drums
Record Label: Independent


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