OKAY kiddies, before getting you underway we'll start with a wee history lesson...
Back in the dim, distant past, when vinyl was king and MP3 files, iTunes and even CDs were a dream in a technician's mind, a 7" vinyl single had an 'A' side and a 'B' side. If the artist added a song or two it became an "e.p." Somewhere along the way we lost the punctuation, but it stands for 'Extended Play.
But in this digital age, if a band has a six-track release they still call it an "ep" when if we to stick to the rules of yesteryear that should be rightly called a mini-album.
Pedantry aside, relative newbies on the scene (at least to us) Altus have already impressed with their opening slot at last month's Helfast 13, and now are set to release their début four track ep - Non Omnis Moriar -at the Voodoo on Thursday (20th June) before a support slot for Baleful Creed on Saturday (22nd June) at the Limelight.
Kicking off with an almost obligatory acoustic 'Intro' it only takes just under 90 seconds before Nail in the Coffin rumbles along with intent; classic heavy metal merged with the down-tuned buzz of real menace.
However, amidst the guitars attack the vocals are lost a little in the mix, somehow failing to complete that sense of menace. That aside it is a statement of intent; a fresh ferocity ready to dawn...
Brand New Skies has echoes of Down and a nod to BLS before finding its own identity and a low-end intensity.
Closing things off is Beast, a stand-out performance with a promise of much more to come from Altus.
On this evidence Altus are a band who have carefully reviewed their own listening habits, absorbed the best, and moulded themselves into a band with much potential. Even given the effect of the low-end turmoil there is the potential for a fresh attack here.
One cannot but wish that this was a longer outing - a mini-album....
But that lies ahead for Altus, and no doubt they are already planning their first full album release.