Sound — 9
Having formed in late 2009, The Rendering's time together as a band has been relatively short in general music industry terms. But in that quick year together (give or take a few months), the metal/hardcore quintet has managed to develop an intriguing, texture-rich EP Protector. The bulk of the debut EP is in-your-face, rarely letting up in terms of rhythmic aggression. At the same time the six tracks are layered with unexpected sounds that you might not necessarily anticipate and allow them to stand out from the pack. The two openers Thanks A Mil and Taken are fairly relentless metal offerings, with the screams/growls emitted from Eric Van Acker's as powerful as they come. With The Gift they prove that their intensity can go toe to toe with any veteran black metal band out there. Between the highly effective breakdown and the use of some intriguing guitar effects, The Gift is absolutely one of the most unique tracks on Protector. While The Rendering could have opted not to include an interlude on a limited EP, they made the correct decision to give it the green light. Interlude features breathtaking classical guitar work from Dan Marinaro and Aaron Nichols, only to briefly be layered with computer-like sound effects that you might hear on any given Tool album. The short-and-sweet Interlude transitions into Come Home, which is essentially a double bass pedal paradise of sorts. Come Home features plenty of epic moments, closing with a big finish enhanced by keyboard lines that deliver an orchestral type effect. There's rarely a weak moment on Protector, and you certainly can't accuse The Rendering if failing to leave a lasting first impression. Songs like Trial contain a bevy of tempo changes and general twists and turns, but they still manage to sound cohesive. The Rendering certainly enjoys experimenting with industrial sounds, but at no time does it overtake the raw power of the guitars.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrical content is suitably matched against the furious musicality. There's an underlying anger within pretty much each of the six tracks that contain lyrics, and given Van Acker's wonderfully disturbing vocal delivery, you wouldn't want it any other way. Whether the theme is general disgust towards an individual in Protector (Your selfishness is getting f--king old, my pity for you is running low) or to convey a sense of foreboding in The Gift (I am not what you think I am; The darkness that comes from within; Soon you will see there's no escape), the messages are a good match for the musical intensity.
Overall Impression — 8
The seven tracks on Protector indicate we can expect quality offerings in the future from The Rendering. While they could even go more experimental with the lead guitar effects or the sci-fi synth samples, there is a subdued nature to it all that works on the EP. At the center of it all is the always convincing vocal delivery of Van Acker, whose screams will make you sit up and take notice.