Review Summary: Abrasive And Genre-Fusing Madness
Forming after the departure of singer, Jamie Graham from Sylosis comes Heart Of A Coward. Having grasped metal by the balls and dragged their way through the ranks of modern metal this five piece from Milton Keynes, UK have spread their infectious metalcore through multiple tours including support for Machine Head, Sikth and Bleed From Within as well as numerous festival appearances and as of late, headline tours. Needless to say, they haven’t had a hard time kicking doors down however now releasing their third album with a strong critical acclaim to support them, it’s about time they set their weapons to stun.
Heart Of A Coward continue to stitch together matching textures of numerous metal subgenres. Raised from a metalcore background there are obvious inclusions of showering guitar melodies throughout the album that are admittedly used a little too frequently however this features enhances the rage felt, like in ‘A Grain Of Sound’ where they cower back only to re-emerge with a frenzied energy of anger. There’s a reason these guys headlined Tech-Fest in the UK and its down to a prominent Djent feel that showcases the band’s instrumentation abilities. The mutated grooves in the title track and ‘Miscreation’ and combine raw power and technicality to form a new breed of memorable riffing that consequently provides the muscle to Heart Of A Coward’s new album and overall sound.
If the riffing is the muscle to the music then Jamie Graham’s singing is the backbone to it. He has the voice of a youthful newbie and the confidence level of a seasoned frontman. Like his companions, his individual composure shines throughout the album and sparks in songs such as ‘Turmoil II: The Weak Inherit The Earth’ with screams that would give Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) a run for his money and in turn adding another genre, extreme metal, to their genre-fusing sound. Each chorus in executed as powerfully as an uncompromising kick to the groin however his pronunciation can sound strained at times. Is he struggling to hold the scream or is it just the emotion pouring out? Either way you look at it choruses in songs such as ‘Mouth Of Madness’ act as vocal hooks that will inevitably set the circle pits into a crazed state.
The extremity of Heart Of A Coward’s music is recognisable from start to finish on ‘Deliverance’. Strong breakdowns and spiralling riffs make a potent mix in album opener ‘Hollow’ and establishes an overall theme to the album. The clear indication that the band have matured dramatically is evident as every song on ‘Deliverance’ as they pack a meaty punch in the gut however they capture the musical development that some modern bands overlook and unleashed it in tracks such as ‘Anti-Life’ and ‘Skeletal I: Mourning Repairs ’.
These new songs sound far more robust and controlled yet still in keeping a wild state that solidifies the band’s mannerisms. What this bands are doing is reminiscent of what Slipknot and Deftones did to Nu-metal: bending the rules in a way that suits them and excites everyone. If you want to hear one modern metal band that summarises the consistent side of metalcore then it’s Heart Of A Coward.