Imposing in nature, sound, and emotional intensity, Fracture/Conscious is an impressive introduction to hardcore band A Life of Torment. It takes no prisoners as it challenges ears and psyche yet has an anthemic essence to it which grips without reserve. It is a sound and debut which already implies that the Virginia quartet is going to be a proposition to set genre tongues wagging with acclaim ahead, a prospect hard to avoid getting excited over.
There is not a great deal we can enlighten you about the band, their emergence shrouded, whether intentionally or not, in mystery and a lack of revelations They do draw on inspirations such as Disembodied, Chapter, Integrity, May Day, and seemingly the heart of hardcore in its beginnings to their sound, that we know, but there the information stops and the music takes over.
Fracture is the first track and instantly provides an addictive web of marching rhythms and riffs bound in an alluring acidic and tempting groove. It is the makings of an addictive nature, one just as hungry in accepting the caustic ire of the vocals and riffery which take over once the rich sonic toxicity steps aside. Vocalist Dominic roars with venom, every syllable coming with a scathing of spite as the pungent beats of Caleb collude with the throaty bass bait of Isaac to continue the rhythmic enslaving which set the song off. It is only part of the picture though, great unpredictability bringing in shifts of energy and gait including a slip into a slow crawl which briefly induces clean vocals and another raw embrace of tangy sonic enterprise. The track is hostile and uncomfortably uncompromising but also infectiously gripping as it digs its virulent hooks deep into the psyche.
Its companion Conscious is no different, its unique nature and presence crafted on magnetic rhythmic tempting crowded over by tempestuous intensity and vocals; all aligned to similarly abrasing riffs. Guitarist Jonah spins a riveting mix of vicious riffery and sonic temptation, every hook and groove draped in angst and poison whilst simultaneously providing irresistible temptation. Again a varied vocal attack catches the imagination whilst a post punk sombreness only adds to the drama and success of the excellent encounter.
Expect to hear plenty more of A Life of Torment and in increasingly potent light as Fracture/Conscious infests the psyche of hardcore and raw punk fans alike. For a first assault, this EP is just fascination.
Fracture/Conscious is available now digitally as a name your price download @ http://alifeoftorment.bandcamp.com/releases and on limited edition red or white cassette via Blasphemour Records @ http://blasphemourrecords.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=89&product_id=248
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