Bedfellows Part One: The Bastard Son

Written by: DR on 18/02/2013 23:04:13

Something about Britain seems to inspire our current hardcore scene to create some of the bleakest, most unrelenting hardcore being created anywhere at the moment. Case in point is Welsh outfit Bastions, who have been inflicting their intense, passionate sound upon venues up and down the UK, across Europe, and to record with releases like "Kingdom of Dogs" and their debut LP, "Hospital Corners", all on the way to becoming one of our country's leading hardcore acts. They show no signs of slowing down, either, as their latest release, "Bedfellows Part One: The Bastard Son", part one of a two-part concept, will not only satisfy already-fans, but it shows enough excellence and progression to win over slews more.

With an immaculately produced rapture of excruciating vocals, pummeling rhythms and searing guitar lines, "Bedfellows..." tells the story of a mother dying during the birth of her third child, a father unable to cope with raising the remaining children on his own, and the consequent abandon of them. Though not the first band to explore themes of abandonment, loneliness and loss through lyrical storytelling and unrelentingly dark soundscapes, such emotions are rarely delivered with such bite as Bastions deliver throughout this four-track maelstrom of devastation.

As furious and anguished as ever, moments of space are rare; for instance, despite "Pallor" opening with a spacious, deceptively bare soundscape, it soon succumbs to the despairing nature of its lyrics, dragging the listener into a claustrophobic, post-metal-esque pit of agony. The following two efforts, "With Love" and "Life Less Lived", unrelenting in their breakneck pace, allow little relief from the tour de force of unbridled catharsis. Closing effort, "Amongst Crows", is the peak, though, as its build/release structure represents a seamless amalgamation of Isis-inspired metalscapes with the emotional purging of their hardcore roots. The explosive screams amongst the thunderous musicianship, built up and bled out after the tense quiet periods, are the most affecting of the entire release, and are a perfect example of a band willing to combine new elements within their established sound to great effect.

Though its only four songs and eleven minutes long, the pacing of "Bedfellows..." is flawless. The more atmospheric efforts open and close, surrounding the frantic one-two of pure hardcore in the middle, ultimately lending an important cohesion to the concept and story-telling within. Moreover, having already proven their ability to write excellent hardcore music, Bastions are now showing signs of expanding their songwriting, influences and ambition above and beyond their contemporaries. It's too early in a relatively young hardcore scene to crown any band as its king, but if Bastions keep writing music as good as this then we might not have a choice but to give them the crown.


Download: Amongst Crows
For The Fans of: Kerouac, Vales, Defeater, Converge
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 18.02.2013
Holy Roar Records

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