Thursday, January 28, 2016

Earthbound - Dead Weight EP




Hardcore's conventions have always been fairly narrow. The shouted lyrics over the same power chords with all-in choruses by either burly tough guys, pseudo-tough guys or vegans who expect everyone to follow their way of thinking.

Polish hardcore band Earthbound want to challenge these conventions and "cross the borders between metal and hardcore". The obvious danger taking this approach is that a band with this idea can run with it and wind up sounding like a lot of the hardcore bands did in the late 80's when many of them took a more metal approach or a band that calls themselves hardcore can end up metalcore but sounding like Anselmo period Pantera. Poland's Eathbound have avoided these traps by adding death and black metal to the mixture.

The first song appropriately entitled "Intro" gives no clues other than metallic riffing as to what is about to hit the listener largely due to the track being an instrumental that clocks in at just under 80 seconds. "Nothing is Foverever" is angry hardcore with throaty vocals and all-in gang vocals backed with steady riffing and drumming. Earthbound take an interesting turn in Cursed with vocals taken from the Obituary school of death metal vocalists, speedy drumming and occasionally borrowing the bumble bees from hell black metal guitar riffs. The death metal style vocals are a feature on "Imprisoned" which is paired with buzzsaw guitar. The breakdown mid-song will keep the smile on the dial of modern and more taditional hardcore fan


The crossover direction is always an interesting one. Earthbound have definitely found a good formula of crossing death metal, black metal and hardcore. It's a blend that on paper doesn't really sound like it would work at all but on this "Dead Weight" EP, the marriage between the styles is certainly not dead weight. Whether this can be carried all the way through an album remains to be seen but in the EP format, it gets two thumbs up.

3.5/5


Check out Earthbound's "Dead Weight" EP on bandcamp



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