Friday, May 23, 2014
Young and In the Way: " When Life Comes to Death"
Have these guys always been this black metal? The dissonance as well as the hateful rasp of the vocals find these guys more blackened than hardcore, with very little in terms of break downs to be found. Just when you think they are going back into their old hardcore way they throw some type of creepy melody in. Sure Converge comes from a similar place when it comes to playing dark hard core, in fact dark hard core has become somewhat of a thing in recent years, so the lines in which how dark does hardcore have to get before it becomes black metal find themselves crossed more often than not here, if not completely burned away.
The album carries it's momentum with me well enough having a firm grasp of their own sound until "Be My Blood" which falls back into the kind of hardcore meets metal clichés bands like Nails have utilized to death in recent years. Sure it's heavy and mean, but I want to hear the songwriting these guys have just shown me they are capable of. It might be I just prefer the more black metal side of the band as "Self Inflicted" charges in a hits with an almost d-beat gallop that satisfies me. It also has a clean and creepy interlude to provide a wider sense of dynamics.
Sometimes the hardcore thing plays to their favor, when it is more metallic in its intent that the stiff punk beat."We Are Nothing" is a good case in point. The guitars stay dark and ugly with a creepy dissonance that rings out, even though I would not call the riff black metal, though it is not something that would seem out of place on an Inquisition album. They are better at churning than trying to out race themselves, like what they do on "Final Dose", which fast for the sake of fast bores me, no matter the genre. It is like one of those fast forward spastic classics that Converge launches into from time to time.
Toward the middle of the album the tug of war between the hardcore straight forward approach and the more sonic black metals is waged. In the stomping gallop of "Weep in My Dust" it seems the black metal side is going to win out despite some of the furious Converge like riffage. The mean streak in "Take My Hand" makes the song work as it comes from a much more sinister place that they need to dig more from.
Some times the delicate balance of what I want from these guys is oddly tempered. The slow strum of "Shadow of Murder" almost feels more like an interlude as it drones on than a song. There is a very Planesmistakenforstars thing about it, though I never though of Planes as black anything. They take us out with the blast heavy "Embrace Extinction". It cinches onto the the drone of white noise static blast beats creates and hold you there for a minute and a half . If you just heard this song you would not think of them as anything other than black metal , the sluggish break down and all. This one won me over half way through, where some songs were a harder sell.
This album is still wearing on me so I am going to give it an 8.5. It is getting a lot of praise, and I not it flies in the face of all that is hip to say different, But I prefer the more black metal elements to the more neanderthal hardcore sections, but it is brutal and if you like dark and heavy hardcore this is for you .