Birds In Row

Collected

Written by: PP on 03/08/2012 17:49:41

Birds In Row specialize in a chaotic hybrid form of sludge and hardcore, a dark, brooding soundscape that could easily be Converge sanctioned given its relentless refusal of using melody, instead creating anti-melody using the dirtiest and ugliest sounds found within the two genres. "Collected" is a totally uncompromising album and one that's not for the faint hearted, especially once I mention The Dillinger Escape Plan as the probable second influence, after which you can start imagining just what kind of crazed chaos to expect from the record.

The album varies between two distinct styles of sound within the realms of sludge and hardcore. "Colossus", for example, is pure, relentless pounding of face at a hardcore punk pace with a sledgehammer, except way heavier and more unadulterated in its expression. These are the kickstarters of violent pits and unforgettable hearing damage. Then you have songs like "Word Of Astaroth", which take the same heavy and violently aggressive sound, but slow it down and add in elements of doom-esque beauty, even melancholy at times. And though the vocals are screamed intensively almost 100% of the time, here you'll find lapses where the band almost - and I mean almost - finds itself in clean vocal territory. These are arguably the most interesting moments found on the record, because it allows the songs to grow and progress outside of the 'lets beat you up with heavy, droning riffs' approach found on other songs. Oh yeah, and if "The Letter" isn't influenced by Kvelertak, then I don't know what is.

Still, "Collected" is a little too uniform to make a lasting expression. It provides plenty of punishing soundscapes to crush its listener against the ground without letting go, but too few moments where you're able to take a step back and appreciate what it is that Birds In Row are trying to do here. I'm guessing that's not the intention of the band anyway, but their sound would nonetheless benefit immensely from opening up their songwriting a little bit.

Download: Word of Astaroth, Ace Of Fools, A Kid Called Dreamer
For the fans of: Cursed, The Hope Conspiracy,
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 15.04.2012
Throatruiner Records

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