Opening up with a descending acoustic guitar line and some suitably doom-laden lead work, ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’ is taken from independent musician and producer Cagri Raydemir’s fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) record, and the second of two EPs, ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’; loosely alt-metal, there’s elements of System Of A Down to the guitar work and Raydemir’s vocal delivery, mixed in with dashes of prog and some bluesy flourishes. It’s unsettling, moody, and heavy without resorting to the sort of ‘everything louder than everything else’ distortion that lesser artists might use to imply ‘heaviness’, relying instead on a relatively clean guitar tone, vaguely ‘Eastern’-sounding scales (think Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ or some of Jerry Cantrell’s drop-D tuning-based work), and the power of the lyrics and subject matter to give it gravity and depth. And more power to it, that restraint and emphasis on phrasing and ‘grunt’ giving it a potency that would be lost with a more overdriven sound. It’s solid, powerful, and over far too quickly; a very tasty opener that gives a perfect introduction to the EP.
You can hear ‘Choosing Your Own Battles’, and the rest of the ‘Outlasting The Opposite Pole’ EP, on Spotify.
Review by Alex Holmes