Escape Is Not Freedom – Surrounded by the Great Nothing (Review)

Escape Is Not Freedom - Surrounded by the Great NothingEscape Is Not Freedom are an alternative/sludge metal band, and this is their second album.

Escape Is Not Freedom are no strangers to this site, (here and here), and it’s great to hear some new material from them. Combining elements of metal, sludge, rock, and noise, Escape Is Not Freedom remind me of a cross between Fudge Tunnel, Helmet, Nirvana, Skyscraper, and others.

Fuzzy sludge is mixed with an alternative metal/grunge sensibility that means the songwriting is informed by both straightforward accessibility and harsh unfriendliness. The resulting tension between niche sounds and broader appeal makes for interesting and enjoyable songs. Across 56 minutes of material the band have created the songs manage to be catchy and memorable on one hand, while on the other retain enough underground credibility to give them their own distinct flavour and character.

It’s a relatively diverse listen too, as Escape Is Not Freedom know the value of spreading their wings and being more than one thing. A multitude of paces, moods, and feelings are explored, from uptempo ragers, to slower, more contemplative mood pieces. It makes for a well-rounded album that may be hard to easily categorise, but it’s eminently enjoyable nonetheless.

Well-written, delivered with skill and passion, and boasting songs that stick in the mind and entice you to return, if you’re a fan of alternative metallic crunch with diverse appeal, then check out Surrounded by the Great Nothing.

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