Jesus Piece has drawn a line within the sand for the present metallic hardcore scene. The place the numerous bands on this model recycle the ’90s combat riffs till the top of time, Jesus Piece push themselves as songwriters. The Philadelphia exports definitely have the feral aggression and gnarled grooves of East Coast hardcore, however there’s extra to their sound than brazen anger. Their debut LP, Solely Self, has aged properly over the previous 5 years, largely because of the band’s deadly precision and tasteful incorporation of outdoor parts. To that impact, their followup …So Unknown performs and looks like a hardcore album. Doses of loss of life metallic or darkish different aren’t right here to vary that, however to make the violent proceedings that rather more deadly.
With a lone bellow from Aaron Heard, “In Constraints” comes out swinging with all of the quarter be aware triplets, call-and-response vocals and nasty riff adjustments a spin-kick jockey may ask for. Extra noteworthy is how a lot restraint they present with their breakdowns. Sure, the breakdowns really work the best way they’re supposed to—breaking down the tune’s concepts to their important parts. It sounds apparent, however a number of metallic hardcore bands want bands like Jesus Piece to remind them to keep away from counting on meathead mosh components. The sticky rhythms and jagged dynamic spikes are nice in their very own proper… in different phrases, they’re price stripping again to their naked necessities for a parting onslaught.
It is actually the main points that rely right here, like the best way drummer Luis Aponte chooses rigorously when to observe the guitars with double kick or persist with stomping four-on-the-floor throughout “Tunnel Imaginative and prescient.” In the identical approach, guitarists David Updike and John Distefano steadiness harmonised angular fretwork with chug-a-chug mayhem alongside bassist Anthony Marinaro. The same sentiment carries over onto atmospheric cuts like “Silver Lining,” which supplies haunting, reverb-soaked soundscapes room to intermingle with the chest-caving grooves. It takes a particular band on this style to have sufficient emotion to hold Heard‘s lyrical ode to (seemingly) his baby, however Jesus Piece rises to the event with ethereal textures to go with the powerful man vibes.
Getting again into the fray, songs like “Gates Of Horn” and “An Providing To The Night time” provide extra of that old-school Jesus Piece model that made their EPs pop off again in 2016. After all, the distinction between now and 7 years in the past turns into the band’s musical cohesion, in addition to manufacturing from Randy Leboeuf (who has made everybody from Orthodox to The Acacia Strain sound completely devastating). The previous’s stomping two-step comes punctuated with ominous suggestions layers, and the latter’s burst of galloping pace with funky drum and bass characteristic and an ultra-heavy, virtually doomy outro. In each instances, Jesus Piece has a eager understanding of when to go full caveman and when to cut issues up and jerk listeners round.
Talking of jerking listeners round, “Worry Of Failure” incorporates among the finest tempo shifts of Jesus Piece‘s profession. With out having to vary the riff an excessive amount of, the transition from plodding dirge to accelerated syncopation brings two totally distinct feels to the desk. Jesus Piece retains these adjustments unpredictable however by no means jarring, which works wonders for the swinging, swaggering mosh half on the finish of “FTBS” because it hits like a blindside left hook with out upending the Code Orange-ish array of dissonant depth. The vocal chemistry between Heard and Marinaro provides extra chaos to those passages, but it surely’s actually the inventive drumming from Aponte that takes the cake.
Aponte is there with Orthodox‘s Justin White amongst direly underrated inventive forces on this style. He generally takes on a jazz type, the best way he kicks round the remainder of the band on “Profane.” Granted, it would be a great metallic hardcore tune with echoes of melo-death and life-ending slams. The important thing phrase right here is elevation, in that his method not solely vitalizes the primitive foundations of hardcore, but in addition the array of riffs the guitarists can throw on the market. “Stolen Life” highlights this idea, which spans from a spooky goth-ish intro to an inexplicable use of a hard-ass breakbeat (DJ Rashad model, child!). These things does not sound prefer it’s making an attempt to be totally different. In the long run, the experimentation simply permits Jesus Piece to hit tougher, and in sudden locations.
Compared to Solely Self, which does have an interlude monitor, the whole lot on …So Unknown, from “In Constraints” to closing lower “The Bond,” is a bona fide addition to the Jesus Piece repertoire. With a salvo of curve-ball beats and bombshell guitar chugs, the band’s magic crystalizes one final time. By exchanging technicality for style, these guys refine a less-is-more method to make each second of this album worthwhile. Whether or not it is harrowing modulations or unapologetic pit-starters, Jesus Piece is aware of precisely when to change issues up or journey the breakdown into the sundown.
There’s solely so some ways to say “Jesus Piece writes good hardcore,” however that actually is the take away from …So Unknown. It is thrilling, emotive, and ball-busting hardcore taken to the following degree by sensible writing. They positively earn their place as a rising identify, and a great bridge builder for metalheads who may grimace on the point out of hardcore. For individuals who like their music darkish and raging, but in addition danceable, now’s a good time to hop on board for the infectious melee.