This is the second album from Death Goals, a hardcore band from the UK.
A Garden of Dead Flowers is a 29-minute album full of character and personality. This is partially down to the varied and charismatic vocals – everything from shrieks to clean singing – and partially down to the music itself, which is expressive and colourful, while still having teeth and some very heavy riffs and breakdowns.
The songs have a chaotic energy that’s infectious. There’s certainly anger and aggression here, but there’s also a joyous aspect to the music that’s very endearing. The music takes influence from a range of punk and hardcore styles from a few different eras. I can hear mathcore elements sit next to 00s hardcore ones, and old-school punk clashing with noise rock. Despite being a thoroughly contemporary creation, A Garden of Dead Flowers also sounds like it could have come out in the late 90s or early 00s in many ways.
The songs are moreish and well-crafted. There’s chaos here, but also restraint and controlled songcraft. The vocals are near-unhinged in places, but always catchy and memorable, while the underpinning music is generally more focused, while still being emotive, even when it’s spiked and jagged.
Listening to this has reminded me at various times of a range of different acts – Fear Before the March of Flames, The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg, Sultans of Ping FC, Circle Takes the Square, Nora, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Drowningman, Poison the Well, Thirty Called Arson, to name but a few – but ultimately Death Goals are their own masters.
A Garden of Dead Flowers is a really strong creation. It makes me nostalgic for the inventive hardcore scene of the 00s, while still offering more than enough value for the modern era. It’s ultimately just a fun album to listen to that balances style and substance well to produce a very enjoyable and engaging collection of tracks.
Very highly recommended.