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Review: Downstroy – Clone

by Miloš Šebalj

Downstroy – Clone

  1. Intro
  2. Let Us Fall
  3. One Foot in the Grave
  4. Illusions
  5. Shatter Me
  6. Don’t Hide Away
  7. Sister
Label: Nocturne Media
Release date: November 22, 2018

Downstroy is an old name on the Serbian Metal scene. Though they have never stopped their activities, it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything new from their camp. Well, there was a single recently, but it was a cover, so it doesn’t quite count. And now we get a new EP, in a digital format (CD version is in the plans).

This quintet from Kikinda is best known for the relentless energy they deliver. They do not disappoint here either. One can certainly get lost in the genre specifications, but the punch in the eardrums remains. These days this music is commonly known as Groove Metal, but there is much more hiding here. Starting from the groovy rhythms Downstroy do not forget about their Hardcore roots (the closing track is a cover of well-known Serbian band Eyesburn). Catchy, melodic choruses are omnipresent, reminiscing the new millennium tendencies of Swedish Death Metal. Thrash Metal comes in play here and there with a couple of guitar passages and drum patterns. Blending all these influences together must have been a formidable task, but these guys do not fail.

What’s more, their songs are quite memorable, even if they put a lot of focus on the technical side of their music. Downstroy manages to find a place for guitar solos which sound strong and confident, as they should with an experienced band like this. Still, guitars are not the only instruments left with a “room to play”. Rhythm section always played a highly important role in all of the above mentioned genres. This band is well aware of that fact and, once again, they do not fail to exploit it to the maximum. With all that in mind, you can be sure the production work is flawless. And it is. The overall sound is filled to the brim, giving “Clone” an additional charge.

In this case in particular I shouldn’t forget about the cover art. From what I could understand in the lyrics (I didn’t get a lyric sheet, but the vocals are fairly understandable), they are dealing with social aspects of modern society. The picture of a person wearing a gas mask, reading a newspaper says it all.

This EP lasts just under half an hour, but still I can’t say it is not enough, keeping in mind that most of the similar acts go for almost a full hour on their releases and become terribly boring somewhere around mid-point. Downstroy created just enough music to satisfy the hunger of their starved to death fans that haven’t been fed for a couple of years. One more thing I need to mention: if you’re not going to play this loud, maybe you should just forget about it.

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