Bound in Fear – Penance (Review)

Bound in Fear - PenanceThis is the second album from UK downtempo deathcore band Bound in Fear.

Following on from the band’s crushing 2019 debut album The Hand of Violence, as well as this year’s EP Eternal, we now turn to their latest release. Containing 43 minutes of massively heavy music, Bound in Fear’s new album is thunderous and demolishing.

On Penance Bound in Fear sound louder and heavier than ever. The band’s huge guitars are shoved right through your face and their thick distortion utterly obliterates you. The violent groove of the music is very enjoyable, and it’s easy to get caught up in the pummelling display of deathcore that Bound in Fear unleash.

One of the things I like about Bound in Fear is that they enhance their central heaviosity with ambient, emotive, and atmospheric elements. On Penance these moments of ambience and atmosphere have been refined further, and have a greater presence in the music. A track like I Still Dream of the End is a fine example of this, but not the only one. The downtempo deathcore combined with the atmospheric elements and some electronic enhancements make for a very good collection of tracks. It also helps that Penance is probably Bound in Fear at their most dynamic, and also features their best songwriting yet; the songs are more varied overall, with a greater variety of paces and intensities.

Hats off to the band’s singer too. His voice is more monstrous and varied than ever, and his performance is stellar. He has the standard deathcore roar down to a fine art, yet also expands on this with a variety of deep guttural and piercing screams, along with some other styles here and there. There are also a few guests on the album, from bands such as Viscera, Alluvial, Left to Suffer, and Molotov Solution, all of which add value when they appear.

If you’re in the market for some utterly brutal beatdowns, then Bound in Fear have got you covered. However, with a greater wraparound package of improved atmosphere, deeper emotive content, and refined songwriting, there’s more here than simple brutality. Penance is a very enjoyable album that will leave you smashed on the floor, flattened, but satisfied. It’s my favourite Bound in Fear release so far.

Very highly recommended.

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