Ithaca
The Language of Injury


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (205 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2019 | 146 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The UK's equivalent of Vein.

Let’s talk about what happens when genres become overpopulated for a second. After the originators lay the foundations of what resembles this fresh sect of music, a few bands capitalise on this opportunity and start incorporating this sound into their own music. Consequently, this becomes a ‘movement’ and soon enough, everyone is doing it to the point where what was once considered creative is now looked at as uninspired. It happened to metalcore, it happened to djent, it briefly happened to post-black metal and since Code Orange erupted, it appears like it’s starting to happen to hardcore. Fortunately, there is always some gold hidden amongst the gravel and the prospectors at the reliably brilliant Holy Roar Records have dug up yet another valuable nugget.

Ithaca swerves clear of the vortex that copycat bands waltz into because of the sheer number of influences that are presented on their debut album, “The Language of Injury”. In a smidgen over 31 minutes, Ithaca weaves a barbed a web of math rock, punk, doom and post something-or-other spun skilfully together by a conventionally hardcore attitude. Somehow, similar to Vein’s recent debut release, “Errorzone”, Ithaca also doesn’t sound like a glitchy jumbled mess and does sound like a coherent clamorous clash of rabid riffs and soothing surrender.

However, with such a polarising array of sounds contorted around each other, “The Language of Injury”, might take some time to translate to some due to its pure barefacedness. Punishing riffs twist and snap spasmodically to create a frenzied sound. Violent assaults of unexpected breakdowns march forward in “New Covenant” and “Youth vs. Wisdom” after brief moments of calm. The harsh vocal interplay between Djamila Azzouz and Sam Chetal-Walsh in “Impulse Crush” and “Slow Negative Order” creates a disorientating feel, almost like an inner mental argument. Needless to say, Ithaca’s sound is turbulent. Their reliance towards the vicious stabbing effect with the guitars to create the brutalising aspect of their sound occasionally sounds one dimensional, whereas if they allowed the riffs to stretch a little further instead of jumping from one place to another in quick succession, they’d be able to extract a higher level of emotive power in their heavier moments akin to what they do in the tender parts of this album. Sometimes it’s nicer to watch a bonfire instead of a firework display.

Beneath this brutality is a sense recluse melancholy. At first, Azzouz’s clean vocals during the title track are anxiously placed deep in the back of the mix but they emerge gently as the song swells in size. They also materialise in the next song, “CLSR”, casting a lonesome appearance against a wash of seething melodies. It’s welcome to hear some light guitar melodies in hardcore that are not particularly uplifting but still give off a comforting presence. In songs such as “Gilt” and the fantastic closing track “Better Abuse” demonstrate this perfectly; the lighter moments don’t eradicate the domineering darkness, but they act as a reminder that although you can’t see, you’re not alone in the dark.

“The Language of Injury” is a devastating statement of intent. Binding the furious attitude of Svalbard with the exhaustive emotionality of Oathbreaker and the fluctuating dynamics of Code Orange is no easy task. Ithaca has not only succeeded in creating that sound, but they’ve also presented hardcore with another sparsely populated niche to branch off into.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
BeardedBird
February 2nd 2019


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. This is yet to fully click with me partly because I can't really pick out a distinctive thing Ithaca do that the wave of other hardcore bands you describe does. Sticking with it 'cause there's definitely something here.

TheNotrap
February 2nd 2019


9643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’m not into core stuff, but I’m enjoying the album so far

Digging: Opera Magna - Del amor y otros demonios

DDDeftoneDDD
February 2nd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Its a shame how Code Orange became a sput's joke when they clearly set mark and gave a new breath into a dying genre. On the digs to check this out. Looks neat.

Digging: Opeth - Ghost Reveries

Slex
February 2nd 2019


5669 Comments


Love Vein so much so I'm super pumped to check this now

Digging: Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown

DDDeftoneDDD
February 2nd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Just listened to 2/3 tracks and already like it more than vein. I love those etid riffing and solos.

Chamberbelain
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2019


127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is between a 3.5 and a 4 for me but I'm rounding it up because they're definitely onto something.

Digging: A.A. Williams - A.A. Williams

DDDeftoneDDD
February 2nd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

So...round it up...

Essence
February 2nd 2019


6257 Comments


this fuckin rips

SlicePaperMoog
February 2nd 2019


480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard of these guys before but they seem really promising

Slex
February 2nd 2019


5669 Comments


The level of pure vitriol on some of these tracks is fucking exhilarating

TheNotrap
February 3rd 2019


9643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool riffs. The guitarist is a Joe Haley fan.

Tchitcherine
February 3rd 2019


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm 1 track in and this has already more identity than vein and more emotional variety

Digging: Allie X - CollXtion II

DDDeftoneDDD
February 3rd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've 4'd vein but I agree with you Tchitch

Tchitcherine
February 3rd 2019


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I rated it 3,5 and it's fun but this may have a lot more to offer. I finished it now and really like how consistent it is. Beautiful album

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 3rd 2019


29589 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

This is quite good



Reminds me a bit of Aimless Arrow-style Converge



I'm not usually into vocals that are relentlessly rough/screaming, but the music manages to keep things fresh



Gonna have to keep spinning this but it has potential to be a 4 or higher



Great review Chamb!

Digging: Copeland - Blushing

Slex
February 3rd 2019


5669 Comments


More emotional variety is a good way to put it. I think Vein's style is a little more fun and novel but this does have more emotional/thematic substance

DDDeftoneDDD
February 3rd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yap. Its not as glitchy as vein for its own good. Also those tech solos and the doomy parts gives a lot of charachter

Slex
February 3rd 2019


5669 Comments


The last track here is astounding and the intensity they reach at the end of the track, hoooolllllyyy shit!

DDDeftoneDDD
February 3rd 2019


3951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Can t wait to jam it in full m/

Wildcardbitchesss
February 3rd 2019


2606 Comments


“I'm 1 track in and this has already more identity than vein and more emotional variety“
This is how you get me intrigued

“Reminds me a bit of Aimless Arrow-style Converge”
This is how you get me to drop everything listen right now.



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