Nascent End is a psychedelic rock project based in Chicago: their debut EP “It Is” was released on the 18th of August, 2021. The EP features four distinct tracks that make use of irregular rhythmic structures, fast electric guitar riffs and complex melodies skillfully; so prog fans shouldn’t miss out on this EP just because of the description of the band. Each song establishes a different atmosphere, yet when they come together, the EP sounds complete and balanced: this balance applies to both the individual songs and the EP as a whole.
1. Airborne Again (5:40)
Although Nascent End presents itself as a psychedelic-rock band, the first track of the EP has more of an 80s rock band sound to it: the repeating deep, strong electric guitar riff in the background, supported by the vocals that have a drawly tone, give the listener this impression. The song continues with the same riffs until the guitar solo enters near the second-minute mark. The solo continues for a short time and leaves its place to a more atmospheric sound, which releases the stress the solo had built. As this atmospheric melody leads back to an energetic riff, the listener expects to hear the same sound from the guitar and vocals as they did at the start, but Airborne Again continues with a different, darker melody. Overall, the song never bores the listener with too much repetition and establishes a nice balance.
2. Redestruction (4:56)
The second track opens with a riff that heavily relies on the use of irregular time signatures, which has an interesting, start-and-stop feel to it that quickly captures the listener’s attention. The riff then dissolves into a more ambient, atmospheric vocal-oriented section with arpeggiated guitar at the back. The irregular time signature is sustained through this section also, but it doesn’t play with the listener’s ears like previously. Halfway through the song, a breakdown-esque section appears which completely inverts the tone and feel of the song. The track quickly picks up momentum, and astounding instrumentation and vocals accompany the track until the very end.
3. Taken by the Wind (2:28)
The shortest track on the EP, Taken by the Wind starts with the faint sound of wind chimes and a strong beat from the percussion. The electric guitar is added to the combination, and the initially-mystic-and-serene song transforms into an energetic one led by heavy drumming and fast-paced electric guitar riffs. The transition between these two parts is especially well-done: the listener is surprised by the switch but not over-thrown by it. The last thirty seconds of the song drifts off by slower riffs and drumming, and so the two-and-a-half-minute song manages to deal with almost three different parts in one song.
4. Order and Chaos (11:40)
The final and the longest track of the EP opens with an arpeggiated acoustic guitar section that plays a complex, joyful and beautiful melody with tiny elements of suspense. This melody is then interrupted by the main progression of the track, with embellished guitar licks. Bit by bit, the track’s instrumentation becomes more energetic. Near the middle of the track, it becomes relatively calm and somewhat moody. Halfway through, the track stops and restarts with immense energy compared to before, but still keeping the overall sound of the track consistent. A well-constructed, heavily distorted guitar solo finalizes this energetic section, and the track acquires a dramatic and ambient, almost theatric sound. After a bit, an unexpected, high-tempo breakdown occurs that drives the song towards its ending. The track ends like it started: with the same beautiful guitar part. The track changes its feel and sound quite often throughout, giving the listener a sense of movement, a sense of progression, and a sense of an ongoing story.