Review Summary: A ferocious flash in the pan.Dead Hearts
is the debut album from UK hardcore outfit Blackhole
, who were active from 2006 to roughly 2010. They were known for having an unrelenting and compelling live show, as well as having well known family ties to bigger hardcore acts such as Gallows
. This being the bands first and only album is a real shame, because Dead Hearts
is a well-crafted and addictive hardcore album that showcases the anger and the anguish that frontman Richard Carter clearly needed to get off his chest, as well as some fantastic musicianship.
There's no drama or prelude to the album, either. Opener Don't Cry
is a real window to what Dead Hearts
is all about. Fast paced, precise drumming gives way to a positively riff-driven hardcore track, and vocals that are delivered with real force and purpose. Within the first minute, any worries you had about Carter using any ideas from his brother Frank are washed away.
Throughout its 39 minute course, Dead Hearts
never really changes up. This doesn't really present a problem since the music is as solid as it is, but I did find myself lost in the tracklisting a couple of times just because there was no real respite on offer.
That being said, Blackhole
do everything they can to make this album as memorable as possible. The opening sections to songs such as If Only
have such thick and catchy grooves that you just can't fight them being embedded into your brain as you listen. The opening riff from If Only
still haunts me to this day - it's that good.
Look further into the music, and you'll find that the bass has been brilliantly produced into the mix too. A common problem with music of this ilk is that the bass can be lost in the ether, but Dead Hearts
thankfully doesn't fall short of this. Not only is the bass audible, but the band give it time in the limelight, especially on tracks such as Tides
, which is one of my favorite cuts from the album. Not only does the track provide a brutal honesty about despair and self-pity in its lyrics, Carter delivers them with such convincing emotion it's almost too much to take in on one listen.
In short, Dead Hearts
is an exhaustive tour-de-force that will work wonders for you if you're searching for something that little bit different. You don't have to be a Gallows fan to enjoy this - I would even argue it would help approaching this with an open mind and forgetting about Frank - it's just a really solid hardcore record that just asks for one chance to be heard.