Lambs – Betrayed from Birth (Review)

LambsLambs are an Italian blackened Hardcore band and this is their début EP.

You gotta love Blackened Hardcore. A sub-genre that takes the best of the violence and darkness from Hardcore and Black Metal? Yes please! This style is getting more and more popular and has already resulted in a plethora of good bands such as Hexis, Plebeian Grandstand, Dark Circles, Ancst, Cowards, Funerals, Protestant and Flesh Born, to name just a few. Some bands go slightly more one way or the other, while others, like Lambs, meet both genres in the middle. That, and a bit of Post-Hardcore thrown in for good measure.

This is a quality little release that showcases what Lambs are capable of, and it seems that they should have big things ahead of them if they can keep this level of quality control and intensity up for a full album. Well, big things for a small sub-genre at any rate.

The aforementioned intensity doesn’t mean it’s a Blackened blast fest, (although they can blast when they need to); Lambs have a darkly emotive and fanged assault that never lets up regardless of the speed they play at. In this way they can be compared to any number of modern violent Hardcore bands, as they keep on pushing and pushing with the relentless riffs, to make sure their point is rammed home; be this by straight forward assaults, dirge-fuelled slower sections or angular, atypical melodies. Lambs cover all of the bases.

There’s only three songs here but contained within them is a lot of dark intent and malevolent ambition. As calling cards go this is up there with the best of the style and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Play at full volume.

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Funerals – Human Ruin (Review)

FuneralsFunerals are from the US and play Hardcore. This is their début EP.

This is caustic, aggressive Hardcore which is heavy and full of contempt. Their sound is thick and syrupy and the guitars hit like hammers.

Fusing Crust Punk and Metallic Hardcore with even a hint of a Blackened influence here and there, these are three songs you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Veins of Black starts with a kick-ass Blackened Doom riff that slowly builds and builds until the vocals start and the chugging begins. The singer shows himself to have a charismatic snarl that fits well with the dark nature of the music. The riffs are catchy and there’s a good amount of 90’s Hardcore vibe lurking behind the contemporary sheen.

Human Ruin has an almost Dillinger Escape Plan feel to it before relaxing and sounding more like Gurd with just drums and bass with less angry vocals taking the stage. The guitars and shouting resumes once more though and the feeling of 90’s Metallic Hardcore asserts itself again.

The final song Sick of Sun continues in the same vein, with Sludge-tinged guitars laying a foundation of heavy riffs and catchy vocals. It’s the longest of the songs and twists and winds to its apotheosis.

Think elements of bands like Vision of Disorder, Earth Crisis, Sick Of It All, Sworn Enemy, etc. all mixed together; then give the resulting concoction a Crusty makeover and add a guitar tone that Crowbar would be proud of. Some Blackened Doom influences round off the package and Funerals have a heady list of weapons in their arsenal to utilise.

This is a decent EP that’s made me quite nostalgic for my younger days, whilst at the same time enjoying the fact that there are a raft of talented new Hardcore bands around these days like Funerals who are taking the template and running with it.

Support this up and coming band and check out their EP.