Sense Offender – I
Sense Offender‘s debut EP is a bleak and caustic affair that relentlessly bombards listeners for roughly 16 minutes with harsh atmospheres and clobbering riffs. Hailing from Northern England, this dark hardcore act will surely draw comparisons to the likes of Cursed, Cult Leader, Reproacher and similar acts. But it should be noted that while the band doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, they do their damnedest to use said wheel to run listeners over. The EP begins with a three-minute soundscape of piercing, guitar-generated noise, gruff screams and snippets from a well-known interview with George Orwell on “The Sound of Braille”, which sets the tone for the entire release. “Prophet-less” comes crashing in next with a slew of vicious, angular guitars and hellacious drumming that bleed into memorable sections of blackened melodicism and seismic grooves. “Starving Pigs” aims for the throat with its short bursts of galloping, dissonant hardcore, while “Anointed with Seizures” is a chaotic barrage of menacing pick scrapes, discordant riffs, and world-ending breakdowns. “Weigh My Pieces” brings everything to a close with a speedy display of metallic hardcore savagery that transitions into a lengthy march of towering, apocalyptic sludge that is wrapped in melancholic, atmospheric leads. From start to finish, Sense Offender‘s debut provides the kind of beating that masochistic hardcore fans look for.
Release Date: May 16, 2018
Favorite Tracks: “Prophet-less” and “Anointed with Seizures”
For Fans of: Cult Leader, Cursed, Reproacher, Baptists and Converge
Uncrossing – Uncrossing
New York’s Uncrossing combine doom-tinged heavy rock with alternative swagger on their debut, self-titled EP. With its thunderous guitars and powerful vocal performances, Uncrossing provide a good deal of memorable moments across this 17-minute release. Album opener “Get It From Me” kicks things off with marching sludge chords, peppered with wah-infused riff flourishes, that lead to some soulful and ripping solo work. Vocalist Kristin Flammio’s commanding hooks end up being the highlight of this track and will stick to the mind for days on end. “What I Want” cycles between bluesy verses and choruses of crushing doom rock while Flammio soars over everything. The six-minute “IOU” closes the record out with a massive Black Sabbath-esque doom section that eventually builds into a climax of storming stoner riffage. While Uncrossing‘s debut is a catchy rock affair, it does have its share of missteps. There are a few moments, particularly on “IOU”, where the band choose to ride out a specific riff with little to no variation for a bit longer than necessary. These moments seem to be an excuse to showcase Flammio’s vocal chops, but ultimately go nowhere notable. Despite some of its repetitive tendencies, there is still fun to be had with this record and is a solid debut regardless.
Release Date: February 9, 2018
Favorite Track: “Get It From Me”
For Fans Of: Lo-Pan, Castle and Windhand