With releases these days, a striking aesthetic is just as important as the quality of the music. Bands have upped the ante when it comes to things as simple as tracklisting, and one of the most vital decisions made is the album artwork. Create To Inspire are a band ahead of the game in that department, with the artwork for their debut full-length Sickness doing the utmost to draw listeners into ten tracks of complete brilliance.
The Essex five-piece have proved their worth over the last couple of years, sharing stages with the likes of While She Sleeps and Cancer Bats, as well as showing off their talents at Download Festival, Camden Rocks and more. Their skills are well honed, so it only makes sense that their album is reflective of that— even from the very first track, ‘Agony‘, they display a professionalism that you’d think hard to find in a younger band. The build up in this one is incredible, darting between gut-wrenching hardcore melodies and softer vocals that convey perfectly the pain written into the lyrics.
Create To Inspire are not the kind of band who play around with tricks, instead providing a straightforward, raw record that listeners will have to take as is. Their sound is abrasive yet intricate, remaining consistent as the album continues through onto tracks like ‘Recluse‘, with lyrics that touch on the gritty truth of mental health problems, and ‘Outlet‘, an instrumental that proves songs without vocals don’t always feel like they’re incomplete.
If there’s anything to criticize about Sickness, it’s that it’s almost too perfect. Create To Inspire have put together an album that doesn’t dare to “colour over the lines”, which, while meaning its well-rounded and “safe”, it could’ve been better if the band had been brave enough to take more risks. Debut albums are the make and break of band sometimes, and more and more groups are beginning to experiment in an attempt to impress. Create To Inspire unfortunately fall a touch short of that.
As the album comes to an end with the ideally placed ‘Blue‘ and ‘Adjust‘, it’s clear to see that Create To Inspire are a band with ambition. They may have missed the mark slightly when taking their chances on this one, but there’s an obvious spark which leaves no doubt that they will be able to carry this one proudly. Perhaps, with more experience and understanding, they could move on to be quite the buzz.