For 25 years post-hardcore band Envy have delivered a near perfect blend of heavy music, all glued together with beautiful, delicate guitar tones. The atmospherics that they create have become somewhat of a trademark for the Japanese six-piece; something they have worked hard together to create as a band. So when it comes to the band’s first full-length since 2015, the first question that springs to mind is: how will they live up to their own high standards? The answer is simply by delivering near perfection with The Fallen Crimson. The record embodies everything that is majestic about the band, from the huge crescendos to some of the most beautifully written heaviness you can imagine. You name it, Envy have managed to put them all into this expansive piece of work.
What is even more breathtaking about this album is that it feels as fresh as any record that a new up and coming band could have produced, let alone a band who has been plying their trade for 25 years. Indeed, The Fallen Crimson has nods to the band’s hardcore origins with opening track ‘Statement of Freedom’ and the catchy ‘Marginalized Thread’, perfectly showcasing drummer Hiroki Watanabe’s blistering blastbeats that accompany the soaring guitar tones, all the while returning vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa gives a vocal delivery like only he can. Meanwhile, songs such as ‘Eternal Memories and Reincarnation’ and ‘Dawn and Gaze’ make the record sound simultaneously expansive and intimate, giving a real sincere feeling to the music produced by this incredibly special band.
Throughout the band’s quarter of a century in existence they have forged an idiosyncratic sound of driven intensity, where brutality and beauty seamlessly coexist and complement rather than contradict one another. But on The Fallen Crimson, these elements which they have almost made their own are amplified even further to deliver a new dawn for Envy. It feels like the band has been revitalised by the introduction of new members and with Fukagawa back at the helm after a two year absence. If The Fallen Crimson is anything to go by, there is a lot to be excited about the new lease of life installed in Envy.
The Fallen Crimson is out 7th February via Pelagic Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck