Review Summary: The missing link between Shai Hulud and Coalesce that got lost in the bass.
On a rainy –not so long ago- day, when I was laying down in my comfy sofa while reading a book, something happened. The last album I was listening had just ended and then ‘it’ happened. The next song started to play and at the same time I noticed the ground starting to shake a bit, as well as the books in my bookshelf and the woofer of my sound system (which was moving at a speed it hasn’t been doing for quite some time). Out of my speaker came a band that sounded similar to Coalesce
, Shai Hulud
and even 7 Angels 7 Plagues
. But the thing that really grasped my attention was the production, the gritty, bass-heavy, dirty production this band was using.
The album that started playing was “Desperation Is The English Way: Vol. 1” by Brotherhood Of The Lake
, a band reigning from Plymouth and currently existing out of the following members;
- Vocals: Robert Clark
- Guitar: Rusty Cleave
- Guitar: Grant Jenness
- Bass: Anthony Thornton
- Drums: Daniel Thornton
Blackened Crust Metalcore, that’s how these guys describe their sound on their facebook page. And it’s a fitting description if you really would want to label them correctly. Brotherhood Of The Lake
sounds like the missing link between the melodic metalcore from Shai Hulud
and the more complex metalcore band Coalesce
, only mixed up with the production from a band like Celeste
. Being a ‘crust’ band the bass is also pushed up highly in the mix and the songs are structured a lot more around the bass than the guitar. But, don’t go thinking they slacked off in the guitar or drumming department! All instruments are filled with energy and are usually doing some pretty tasteful things.
Seeing the comparison to the aforementioned bands, one should not be surprised that this is a very aggressive, angry record. Everything about the albums just screams this; The cover, the song titles, the lyrics, the production and above all, the vocals. Robert Clark utilizes a low-tuned scream or shout throughout the entire album, something reminiscent of what you would expect to hear in a hardcore band like Pulling Teeth
. He has a very powerful voice and certainly brings the lyrics (that cover subjects like depression, desperation, religion and suicide) in a fashion they should be delivered. Sadly Clark’s vocal range is nothing to write home about, and gets pretty monotony’s if it wasn’t for the occasional background support. Luckily the album length is pretty short; with only 26 minutes nothing really drags or gets irritating. And while 26 minute might seem rather weak for an LP it’s 26 minutes of quality, no filler to be found what so ever.
However, when the initial surprise of the bass started to wear, I came to the conclusion this is ‘just’ metalcore. Metalcore of a band that clearly found inspiration in bands like Shai Hulud
but never quite reaches the same level of quality. Despite this, Brotherhood Of The Lake
has delivered an excellent album, one that should appeal to every metalcore or hardcore fan. Whilst the album is devoid of the plagues often found in other albums of the same genre, it’s still haunted by its own share of problems, but none of those come close to ruining the experience. I fear the usual “rise record” fan might not be so pleased by this brand of metalcore, but for those who enjoy metalcore in the vein of Cave In
, 7 Angels 7 Plagues
, the aforementioned Shai Hulud
, or people who just love a loud bass will have field day with this album! 4/5
- The World To Me
- Too Bleak
- Hope For Nothing