Review Summary: super heavy metalcore/hardcore dipped in sludge, sprinkled with melody, and topped with George Carlin and Fallout references = guaranteed recipe for success
Slipping under the radar this year is Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
, the third official release from Pittsburgh’s New Vegas. For a relatively unknown and underground release, this 6-song EP is incredibly accomplished, seamlessly integrating elements from not just metalcore and hardcore, but post-metal, sludge and screamo as well. There’s something here for almost everybody; chaotic, dissonant riffing sits alongside beautiful clean sections, heavy-as-fu
ck breakdowns, and melodic buildups without ever sounding forced. While this particular combination of styles isn’t the most groundbreaking concept (Amia Venera Landscape and Locktender come to mind), New Vegas set themselves apart by working in a more concise and focused manner; in other words, there’s no bullsh
it to be found here. Every song on Post Tenebras
falls into the 4-5 minute range, but the band manages to pack more memorable sections into each track than one would expect. Take the second song, and personal highlight, “Life Decisions”; what starts out as a feedback-laden, Converge-influenced riff-fest evolves into a more melodic, atmospheric piece, and then hits you with more riffz before the song ends. The songwriting is rock-solid, and it’s this fluid integration of various styles that makes Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
worth coming back to.
Another thing that strikes me about this EP is the production – it’s pretty much perfect for this type of music. The heavy, raw, but simultaneously crystal-clear mixing makes Post
simply a joy to listen to. A few of the heavy sections are drenched in a layer of clean, reverb-laden guitars – a subtle but very nice touch. The occasional inclusion of sound effects and production tricks only adds to the experience. In the instrumental department, New Vegas gives it their all; every member of the band is talented and, as a whole, it’s the attention to detail in the compositions on Post Tenebras
that makes it memorable. No instrument overpowers the other, and each member plays an important role (yes, even the bassist!) Additionally, the vocalist is more than adequate at his craft, utilizing everything from growls to high-pitched shrieks, to hardcore shouts and more. There are no clean vocals to be found here, even in the clean sections of the music, but for the most part, it works in the bands’ favor.
This is a very solid release from a band that deserves more recognition. The combination of different styles of metal and punk, as well as the worthy production value and abundance of interesting riffs and compositions, makes Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
stand out amongst the sea of derivative releases from seemingly endless hardcore/metalcore bands. Certainly worth a listen!