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The Day We Scorched the Sky

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The Day We Scorched the Sky
by: Jon Arber

Manchester metal crew Profane have spent the last few years quietly building up a reputation as a fearsome live act. And if there's any justice, their debut album should propel them beyond the underground and into the mainstream.

Plenty of bands employ the quiet/loud dynamic, but few manage to do anything really interesting with it. On "The Day We Scorched The Sky" Profane veer between brutal, chugging riffs, deep soothing melodies and almost-prog experimentation, often within the same song. Meanwhile, Phil Bretnall's vocals weave in and out of the soaring guitars, alternating between a gentle croon and apocalyptic growls. All of this is underpinned by razor-sharp drumming and churning bass lines.

It shouldn't really work, but it does. Cramming so many ideas into each song is always a dangerous idea, more complicated doesn't necessarily equal better. But Profane dodge that particular bullet with ease, and it all hangs together nicely. Rather than drawing attention to itself, the true complexity only comes out after a few listens, by which point the songs have burrowed somewhere into the back of your head and refuse to let go.

The title track is a case in point, with catchy, classic metal riffs and vocals that suddenly switch from almost-soothing melodies to a brutal hardcore bark before the whole thing breaks down into slabs of distorted bass and jazzy, off-kilter drums. It would be a damn shame if this album doesn't get the exposure it obviously deserves, both within the metal scene and beyond, put aside any preconceptions you might have, and check it out.