Constraints

Secret Destroyers EP

Written by: AP on 02/08/2011 22:37:43

Has anyone else noticed the growing tendency for hardcore and metalcore bands to adopt the plural form of some abstract concept as their name? Visions, Aliases, Constants, Fractals, Circles, Echoes and Constraints - the subject of this review - are just a few examples that have popped up in my playlist over the past few months. It seems like a thinly veiled attempt at conveying mystery, or perhaps intellect, in order to insist that the band in question has something more intelligent to offer than an assortment of breakdowns, but given the huge number of bands using the tactic, it tends to collate all of them into a single mass of identikit melodic, progressive and emotional hardcore acts.

Not surprisingly, Constraints offer further evidence for this hypothesis with their latest EP, "Secret Destroyers", a record teeming with passion and energy; riddled with lofty melodies; and driven largely by variants of the d-beat. The formula is hardly inventive, but where it does win bonus points is its sense of panic and urgency. For all its brevity, "Secret Destroyers" plays like a desperate last cry of a wounded soldier. This feeling is harnessed especially well on the songs "Drawn Out" and "Consumed", the latter of which coincidentally bears a close resemblance to "Miles Away" by Your Demise, using almost the exact ringing chord pattern in almost exactly the same places. It sounds great, as it did when Your Demise wrote it, but leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, intentional plagiarism or not.

Constraints are not a mere Your Demise tribute band of course, so much is clear from the frantic vocal performance alone, which in turn hinges on the sort of deranged, high-pitch scream heard on A Textbook Tragedy's EP "Rain City State of Mind". Combined with the band's desolate choice of melodies (think Dead Swans for a reference), the resulting torrent of anxiety is too hard-hitting to pass off as cheap idolatry. "Secret Destroyers" is obviously not intended as a reinvention of the genre, nor does it bode particularly conspicuous material, but its three songs still offer quality melodic hardcore delivered at ferocious speed and awash with powerful, choking emotions.

7

Download: Desperate Times, Drawn Out, Consumed
For the fans of: Dead Swans, More Than Life, Your Demise
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.04.2011
Finish What You Started Records

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