In what I can only describe as a welcome return, the hardcore scene has become increasingly politicised these days. The days of Youth Crew are rapidly being replaced with grim-faced singers working off of notes they took watching Question Time, and to be honest, that’s a great use of their time. Due to the last year and a half of civic lockdown, with musicians and journalists alike trapped in their homes, one can argue that people have been even more hyper-aware of the wrongdoings in the world, and are using music to bring these issues to the forefront even more so than in the past.
However, it isn’t everyday that it sounds like this message is coming from the pits of hell itself – many politically engaged songwriters in fact prefer to keep the volume down so the all-important lyrics can be heard (looking at you, Bob Dylan). But this is what you get with the new record from the aptly named Burn In Hell. The Australian outfit’s latest offering Disavowal Of The Creator God addresses the hypocrisy by the leaders church in their homeland, but this issue can be looked at through the lens of any oppressors, it isn’t exclusive to Australia.
The term “dark hardcore” is one that can sometimes be bandied around when a band’s guitar tone has certain downtuned elements or is run through a BOSS HM2, but for Burn In Hell the tag seems to fit nicely. From the guttural vocals of Marcus Tamp, which sound like he is channelling the dark lord himself, to the insanity that is coming from the drum kit courtesy of Marcus Tamp, the quintet really channel the evil within them to offer up a truly pummelling experience and one that will rattle every bone in your body.
Right from the outset on opening track “Bound” the influences of bands like Harm’s Way, Cult Leader and Converge are clear as day, but that isn’t to say that it is a like-for-like comparison. Burn In Hell do not give you a second to breathe as all seven tracks flow one into another. So just when you have strapped yourself in at the end of the opening track, the song “Cathedral” shows off some more groovy elements, with a galloping drum beat sprinkled in halfway through the track to change up the tempo, something which is a welcome – but brief – respite during the onslaught.
Hardcore albums can suffer from a case of repetition verging on boredom, but fortunately here that’s not the case, with flourishes on each track to keep them differentiated despite how well the album flows together. Whether it be a slowing in pace, a hit of a cymbal or the delivery of vocal, they are all little things which keep you as a listener engaged with the record. The once again fittingly named closing track “Armageddon” does feel like the band are going to cause the end of the earth, with an almost melodic undertone to the guitars, it is the track where Burn In Hell feel at their most striped back and back to basics, but the pay off at the end of the record feels great and rounds everything over in such a great way.
If there was to be one slight criticism is that with seven tracks, the journey is over much too quickly, but that just leaves you begging for more from this Aussie behemoth. If Disavowal Of The Creator God puts the band on the map, as it rightly should, then a lot more people will be clambering to Burn In Hell.
Disavowal of the Creator God will be released via Reason and Rage Records on 6th August and can be ordered here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck