Unlikely Hero (EP)

Unlikely Hero is an EP to be released independently by Australian band MEZMIK on 15.07.24. The EP is basically a collection of their released singles to date apart from the title track and three instrumentals. The latest single release being Heart Once Torn.

I’m glad I get to review another local band as metal is not as highly supported here down under as it should be. While there are lots of bands and fans it still feels like an underground movement at times. Especially with female fronted bands.

To describe MEZMIK’s sound is not an easy task, their inspirations are many and varied across a number of classifications. A fusion of symphonic/melodic/death/progressive and classic metal styles.

The EP commences with the first of the instrumentals, New Dawn”, a short introduction for the listener which merges (a little awkwardly it sounded) into the title track Unlikely Hero. The other two instrumentals are at the end of the EP, being versions of the title track and the current single release Heart Once Torn.

Unlikely Hero is the first of the six full-band tracks and includes orchestral arrangements before kicking full scale into the heaviness with down tuned guitars – a feature throughout the EP –, strong and melodic female vocals, harsh male vocals and a very catchy chorus.

Next up is the debut single Flames And Fury accompanied by their first music video available on YouTube. With soaring vocals, some soft passages, a strong back beat and chunky heavy guitars this is a very strong track and a good lead single to entice listeners in to further investigate the band.

Broken Love (fourth single) follows with catchy vocal hooks, another memorable chorus, strong rhythm support, wonderful symphonic and orchestral backing. All emotions of a lost love brought to the fore within the lyrics and expressed perfectly by singer Jolene Turnbull.

Hollow is the metal ballad (and third single) with Jolene’s soul-stirring vocals sweeping over the listener before being joined by harsh male vocals which don’t take away from the tenderness of the track.

Heart Once Torn (current single) brings the heavy back with crunching guitars pacing themselves throughout, thumping bass and pounding drums and skyrocketing female vocals. The song finishes with hellish male vocals.

Killer is the final full-band song (and the second single). More emphasis on the harsh male vocals accompanied by the female vocals with an at times brutal backing. Some of the heaviest sounds on the EP can be found on this track.

Overall, a very impressive debut EP from MEZMIK. Combining so many influences into such a comprehensible sound is not without its challenges, but they have certainly accomplished it here. Just by looking at the song titles the listener will know they are in for an emotional journey. My favourite tracks are Unlikely Hero and Broken Love.

A tip of the hat to the band – Jolene Turnbull, a very accomplished singer, the two guitarists Christopher Fowler and Andrew MacKenzie who bring the chunky, down tuned crushing sound with their individual styles, and the rhythm section of Luke Wilson (bass) and David McGuinness (drums) who contribute forceful backing to the tracks. The orchestration and symphonic elements have been delivered in vigorous fashion.

I look forward to hearing more from the band in the form of a full-length album and more so, I’d love to catch them live sometime. They supported Blind Guardian earlier in the year. I’m pleased to say that I have yet again discovered a new band that I highly recommend.

Peter Sym