With a reputation for vein popping live shows and a brace of stellar LPs already under their belt, post-djent scene leaders Heart Of A Coward have emerged as perhaps the most exciting UK prospect for some time. Espousing all the primal aggression and subtle technicality to oft-times garner the not unflattering tag of ‘the next Pantera‘, a thoroughly savage third full-length not only cements their standing as rightful heirs to the Texan legends vacant throne, but takes their trademark blend of brutality to a higher plain.
Ushering in shades of Meshuggah/Fear Factory‘s mechanical clout, the huge melodic refrains of mid-noughties Killswitch Engage/Chimaira and just a dash of death metal extremity, ‘Deliverence’ is simply colossal. Whilst not as wildly creative as many of their progenitors, the likes of ‘Miscreation’ are cataclysmic lessons in state-of-the-art heaviness, and between the exhilarating rhythmic hammer blows (‘Hollow’) and nail-bomb riffage, the impact of these songs is often unfathomable in its ferocity.
Special mention however must go to frontman Jamie Graham, whose seething delivery, mammoth vocal hooks and almost physical presence up the intensity tenfold, whether it be ‘Grain Of Sands’ guttural menace or the melancholic trawl of closing double ‘Skeletal I – Mourning Repairs / Skeletal II – Arise’, both of which feature some stunning clean breaks.
Indeed, for all its tectonic weight, ‘Deliverance’ is a subtlety multi-layered affair, with a newfound structural know-how and songwriting maturity allowing Heart Of A Coward to carve their niche even deeper within an ever over-crowded scene. This record will, with any justice, see the Milton Keynes quintet climb the ranks of the UK, and indeed the world elite.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)