Banks Arcade Announce New EP "Death 2

Banks Arcade Announce New EP "Death 2
Banks arcade

Melbourne-hailing quartet Banks Arcade have been making waves in the metalcore and post-hardcore genres since the release of their debut record Future Lovers in 2022 – a hectic cocktail of brutal instrumentals and heavy vocals paired with catchy modern metalcore sounds that made a lasting impression on many listeners. Their next offering DEATH 2 comes after 3 singles, making it up to a 6-track EP loaded with typical Australian heavy madness.

Worship The Internet kicks off the EP, immediately building the hype with eerie guitar slides and chant-like drums, dropping straight into a huge chorus section with a powerful riff and groove topped off with wonderfully intense vocals, matching the tone and bringing the energy up right from the get-go. The track continues these trends, blending huge, riff-heavy segments with faster-paced build ups and melodic sections, all while keeping the energy at a consistent high, setting up the rest of DEATH 2 in an extremely exciting way.

The general sound of DEATH 2 is difficult to assign to any specific genre, with the ridiculously heavy moments on tracks like Roulette reminding me of fellow Melbourne-born unit Void of Vision, while the groovy ‘riff-rap’ sections have a nostalgic nu-metal feel, alongside some truly unpredictable EDM-esque sections that only work to raise the hyper, manic vibe that Banks Arcade create throughout the EP. Mixing all these sounds together creates a truly unique listening experience, and while its easy to draw comparisons to artists all over the modern heavy music spectrum, the sheer range of influences and pure talent coming out of this band is impossible to overlook.

As with most music I’m drawn to, the vocals are a huge selling point for me, as frontman Joshua O’Donnell shows off his incredible range. From melodic cleans that perfectly fit the niche between hypnotically pretty and hauntingly alluring, to fast-spoken passages and crazily distorted screams that remind me of huge post-hardcore names like Loathe and Static Dress – the man really can to everything. Combine this talent with the surprisingly heavy instrumentals, ranging from fast, drum-driven grooves to smashing low-tuned riffs and breakdowns, all while floating expertly crafted modern synth-scapes over the top, and you’ve got a recipe for a badass modern metal record.

The most recent single before the release of the EP More Want stands out in any listen through DEATH 2, opening with an electronic-driven build-up with high energy vocals and raunchy lyrics, into an explosively chaotic soundscape. After some more husky moaning and painfully raw screams, I think O’Donnell finally loses it, breaking off into a low-key middle section which includes a mimed saxophone solo (seriously listen to it, it’s very surreal). This develops into an almost rave-feeling build-up, until we smash back into the same familiarly heavy riff from the opening section of the track, heralded by more unhinged heavy vocals that are just irresistible to the humble screamy music enjoyer. Coupled with the purely visceral music video that released with this track, More Want is an absolute belter from Banks Arcade, showing off their creativity and musicianship in a jarringly manic display that I haven’t been able to get away from.

The rest of the tracks on DEATH 2 are suitably insane in their own right: with Killing Games having an almost POST-HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR vibe in parts, and one of my favourite breakdowns of the year so far; Sentimental boasting some insane versatility throughout the whole band, and Change closing out the EP with some juicy shoegaze elements and an eerily soft atmosphere, bringing the whole tracklist together with its mix of gorgeous clean vocals and brutal guitar-work, signing off DEATH 2 brilliantly.

As someone who’s never really given Banks Arcade enough attention, DEATH 2 is six mental tracks full of slaps in the face – why haven’t I been loving these guys for the last 2 years? Fusing softer, catchy post-hardcore writing with the brutality of the heavier metalcore and modern hardcore sounds is what I’m all about, and Banks Arcade are yet another example of why Australian heavy music is some of the best in the business. Keep your eyes on these guys – hot off a huge tour with Aussie giants Northlane, Banks are going places and you do not want to miss out.

FFO – Void of Vision, The Plot in You, Northlane



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