Sound — 8
With their first full album "Hit the Dirt" in stores now, it seems like there's no finer time to review Speed Theory's EP Vengeance which pushed them into the public eye in the first place. A shorter offering than a lot of other EPs, with only 3 tracks, and lasting only 12 minutes, it's still a decent display of their talents. Wes's gruff vocals combine well with the music, and whilst his voice is nothing particularly outstanding, it does have a unique darkness to it that gives it a certain distinction. The guitar work is tight throughout the music, and the drums are of a high standard song-for-song. My only gripe is the fact that the bass often gets lost amongst the other instruments, but when you can hear it, it provides a sound and consistent companion to the drums in the rhythm section. 01. Vengeance Is Mine - in my opinion, the strongest song on this EP. The crushing guitar work would easily start up a mosh pit in any venue and Wes's vocals are on top form throughout, going from throaty and raw to soft and melodic within seconds. The instruments work well throughout the entire song and the song is memorable to boot. 02. Cancer - the shortest song on the album. Wes's vocal fall slightly on the softer parts of this song but his rougher vocals hit the spot perfectly. The guitars are less prominent on this album, and it certainly isn't as memorable or as powerful as Venegeance was, but the instruments are as tight as before and the outro shows off how well they can work together. A song definitely pushed forward by its vocals and lyrics. 03. T.I.C - I would say this is the weakest song off the EP, but should not be brushed under the carpet for that. Where it falls down on the vocals from the previous two, especially on the backing vocals, the guitars step up during the intro and verses to prove that there is still some impressive guitar work on this album, even if there are no solos. A bit rough around the edges and shaky in consistency at times but a sound contribution to the metal world and one which obviously worked to their advantage given their progress following this album. Some people may be disappointed by the lack of solos but the guitar work is impressive none the less and Speed Theory would fit nicely alongside the more established metal bands at the moment.
Lyrics — 7
By and large, the lyrics are pretty good. There's no treading of new ground here really, with lyrics about taking revenge on someone and how some people can become an infection in your life but the lyrics are put across with such emotion and commitement thanks to Wes's powerful vocals that they will rile you up none-the-less. T.I.C is the most lacking in the lyrical department, and the many repetitions of "You're the one that I wanna hate" don't seem to fit in with the music at all. The one thing that could change this is if that line was to be chanted back at the band by a captivated audience. But on a CD, it seems a bit weak and limp.
Overall Impression — 8
As their first release to the metal world, Speed Theory could have done a hell of a lot worse. It's obvious that they worked at this EP and that hard work has obviously paid off. On the strength of this EP, I will be buying their album "Hit the Dirt" and I would argue that they're one of the most interesting new metal bands around at the moment, a statement which Metal Hammer obviously agreed with when they awarded them as "Best Unsigned Band of the Year" last year. As with all other new bands, Speed Theory have a way to go before they get their sound completely down, but they already have a distinctive voice in the metal world and should do well.