Written by Valkyrjiaa
Espi Kvlt – Denies My Tongve To Tell
> Trap Metal
> California, US
> Released March 10
> Syrup Moose Records
A combination of poetry and… trap? To know Espi is to know their extensive inspiration and intrigue with all things metal and horror. Building on Espi’s signature unique palette comes a solo EP that’s as divine as it is diabolical. Denies My Tongve To Tell takes catchy, deep beats and blends them with frighteningly demonic vocals to bring the women of Shakespearean tragedy into the world of trap metal. Add a touch of the finesse from gentle harp strings and you’ve got five solid tracks that keep you guessing.
Enter “Desdemona” and the beat is immediately bewitching. From sonic bounces to the haunting vocals, this track is reminiscent of fog-laden stone steps that lead into a forest of unknowns. The elusive voice that calls you, summons you, is impossible to resist and you follow blindly into the abyss. Deep bass keeps the eerie steadiness and this song provides an enticing introduction for what awaits.
“Juliet” touches upon our beloved, tragic, and twisted tale, bringing in darker, deeper beats alongside an ethereal melody. Its personal touches add to the layers of darkness that dance so devilishly on Espi’s tone with lyrics like “I’m sorry I wasn’t your perfect Juliet and chose instead to live on without your cruel ideas of love”. It thrusts us into the shattered dreams, the fantasy we thought so fitting in our youth, bringing in the dreadful reality with yet a nod of clarity.
“Lady Macbeth” begins with terrorizing harp strings and moves along in a haunting, almost obsessive fashion. Espi’s vocals are lightened yet strangely terrifying as verses move like lucid dreams. “You shine over me with a knife pressed to your lips-glowing red” serves as a perfect example of the vividness yet almost acidic vision that glosses over our mind. It’s a contrast to the previous tracks, pushing a more acoustic side into the spotlight to showcase Espi’s range and inspirations through a whirlwind of ghostly, spell-like speaking.
The piano keys of “Lavina” are distorted and menacing, leading into a vicious tale of violation and betrayal. “The knife in my hand, I will rise again / Forget-me-nots laced in my hair / I am no longer scared” offers beauty in the darkness yet, with a heavy shadow looming in wait. Espi plays with both harsh and soft vocals on this track as an ode to the beloved Lavina and the cruelty once faced. It’s rhythmic, almost pleading in its expressive switches, making this track shift like a battle scene before my eyes.
The final track, “Ophelia”, is creepy, dreadful, and deep. String beats conquer this track, reflecting Espi’s ongoing battle with depression and the violation still plaguing them. Espi takes inspiration from Hamlet’s late “Ophelia” as evident in the lyrics like “The branch reaches out to greet my death / I cannot breathe anymore / Water flows across my lungs” that moves through to continuously eloquent and vividly painted verses. It’s a beautiful yet tragic track as its undertone is masked by the morbid yet stunning lyrics that really had me going back for repeated listens.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Espi’s jump into the world of trap metal comes with familiar tones yet a captivating feel. It’s intimate territory with a few shifts in terrain that seems perfectly fit for Espi’s stories, struggles, inspirations, and aspirations. With the mixture of vocals, the low tones and sharp harp strings, Espi has found the perfect balance for expression and intrigue and Denies My Tongve To Tell brings us just that.