Violent Life Violent Death – Come, Heavy Breath (Review)

Violent Life Violent DeathViolent Life Violent Death are a US metal/hardcore band from the US and this is their second EP.

Mixing old and new influences from the metalcore and hardcore scenes, this is a savage and heavy collection of songs, despite being enhanced by some more accessible parts here and there. Continue reading

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The Noble – Abolitionism (Review)

The NobleThis is the latest EP from The Noble, a hardcore band from the US.

I don’t often get to listen to much belligerent hardcore these days, so it’s great when I cross paths with something as heavy and uncompromising as Abolitionism. Continue reading

Walls of Jericho – No One Can Save You from Yourself (Review)

Walls of JerichoWalls of Jericho are a US Hardcore/Metalcore band and this is their fifth album.

I haven’t encountered Walls of Jericho since their 2004 album All Hail the Dead, which I really enjoyed. I’m not too sure why I never got any of their subsequent releases, but at least I’m finally catching up with them again now, a mere 12 years later…

Coming from a very fertile time in Hardcore/Metalcore history, Walls of Jericho continue to play the kind of heavy, angry music that’s so effortlessly pit-friendly and easy to move to.

The singer’s angry snarl appears to have gotten even gruffer over the years since I last heard her, and on this newest album she sounds on fire with her aggressive delivery. It’s interesting, as on some songs she varies her style a bit and when she screams a little higher in places she sounds more like her old self. Which do I prefer? Honestly not sure. Her deeper voice has more drive in it but her higher one has more personality. Ultimately both do the job nicely, just in different ways.

The songs are compact and belligerent, echoing the style of fellow bruisers Hatebreed, Terror, Born from Pain, etc. only with Walls of Jericho adding their own spin on things. They seem absolutely designed to be played in a live environment, with every riff tweaked to provide maximum mosh-pit action.

Featuring a plethora of heavy, chunky riffs and enough breakdowns to snap a leg to, this is a record that’s easy to get along with.

The last track Probably Will is completely out of place and out of sync with the rest of the album, showing a definite different side to the band and the singer in particular. It’s great to hear and a great song, but as it’s so different to everything else on here it almost shows large chunks of the rest of the album in a bad light as it has much more depth and nuance than anything else on this record. The key word in that last sentence, though, is almost, as the material is strong and confident enough to stand on its own when compared to its softer side.

Overall, this is a strong return for the band after an eight year absence, and No One Can Save You from Yourself is definitely a recommended listen for when you want to feel energised and firmly want the cobwebs blown away in the morning.

Grieved – Grieved (Review)

GrievedGrieved are a Swedish Hardcore band and this is their début album.

Grieved play dark Hardcore with plenty of venom and bite. This is a grim, nightmare vision of Punk and Metal, where destruction is commonplace and fear is everywhere.

Riffs are darkly emotive in a downbeat style and the songs take the positive energy of Hardcore and turn it in on itself, cannibalising and tearing at itself so that only the energy remains, inverted and corrupted. It is still a vibrant energy though, and these songs bristle with life and dark potency.

The singer screams out his words sounding like shattered glass given voice. His delivery is consistently engaging and has enough charisma and character despite essentially just shouting through these 29 minutes.

Across these songs the band show themselves to be adept at songwriting. These tracks are well-thought-out and have an emotive energy to them that’s undeniable. This is brought to the fore by the guitars and their interplay with the vocals, both of which are very satisfying in their own right.

There’s very little speed or urgency on this, it’s pretty much mainly mid-to-slow paced, revelling in its broodiness and building intent. When faster parts do appear, it’s like a coiled serpent has suddenly decided to strike.

I have really enjoyed this. I like that it focuses on songs and structure to deliver its negativity rather than overly relying on pure brutality or rage; this is more Born from Pain or Throwdown than Converge, although the positive message is entirely missing.

Highly recommended.