The easiest way to describe 11Degrees’ debut EP is atmospheric. Across the six track offering, there’s a tremendous array of soundscapes, all of which are visceral and entirely engaging. It forces the listener to pay attention to its arresting sonic strength and has a mature approach that often fails to be heard in such an inexperienced band’s music. Over the course of half an hour, the audience is taken on a compelling journey, one which will hopefully expand over the course of a healthy career for the foursome.

11degrees dive into sea

The titular “Dive into Sea” opens proceedings, at first meticulously plodding along with subdued percussion, repeating downcast guitar riffs and a generally low-spirited makeup. When the vocals kick in, the hazy delivery feels rather dejected, each note packing a vulnerable emotion somewhat masked by the overpowering instrumentals.

Soon though, the guitars become crunching, charring the mix with feedback and wiry riffs. It has an aura of resilience to it, but attacks the listener with a gut-punch of vehemence before the softened melodies return to the forefront. Its climax never quite feels as resurgent as the mid-section, but overall 11Degrees create a hard-hitting, thought-provoking opener which almost demands attention.

“Wave” is slightly more soothing, sweeping by with honeyed vocals, simple guitar melodies and rising drum patterns which carefully remain supplementary to the mostly gentle vocal delivery. Again, though, the mood does shift somewhat during the middle of the song, with accompanying guitar riffs – one eclectic and exciting, one gritty and overpowering – picking up the pace and syringing the track with a surge of optimism. It mightn’t be as effective as its preceding cut, but “Wave” is still an interesting enough offering, and one worth giving a chance.

“Deep Trench” embraces the rock influences heard at points during the release full-throttle, in turn crafting an exhilarating track that blitzes with thumping percussion and billowing guitar riffs. It’s arena-made, committing wholeheartedly to its dominating composition. The vocals take more of a backseat here, with the focus firmly on the hard-edged guitars and unabating instrumental charisma. It’s an intriguing change of pace, ultimately making it effortlessly memorable.

The pace soon slows back down with “Realize,” a mammoth, near eight-minute track which swaps energy for atmosphere, and relentless strength with delicate unguardedness. The vocals here are as vulnerable as ever, soft amongst the threadbare percussion and understatedly colourful guitar riffs.

Seamlessly emotional, even a corruscating shoegaze-powered climax that ups the ante tenfold refuses to allow the listener to shake the deep-rooted emotion which unleashes itself through both energised freneticism and sombre reflectiveness. It’s the high-point of a consistent EP, and a musical risk that pays off with manifold results.

“Eye of Typhoon” returns to more traditional rock, and subsequently fails to grab the audience in the same way a song like “Realize” did, instead cementing its quality with galvanizing instrumentation. It’s more forgettable than other efforts, and harbours generic qualities in a number of ways which does harm its selling points.

With that being said, “Ending Credit – Outro” astutely ties a bow on the EP, echoing, strengthened vocals providing the perfect accompaniment to escalating melodies and sleek rock instrumentals. The guitars sound particularly good here, helping to make a song which triumphantly finishes the 32-minute short form offering. It leaves the audience excited for more, which is exactly what the inexperienced band will undoubtedly wish for.

All in all, Dive into Sea is a gripping listen. It cleverly makes sure its soundscapes are palatable to a wide audience without compromising meaning, and consummately delivers its intentions with finesse. Whatever 11Degrees do next, it’ll be worth attention.

Facebook | Instagram | SoundCloud | Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube Music