New Jersey post-hardcore crew Old Wounds have carved themselves out a spot in between hardcore, industrial metal, and goth rock to produce their latest record, ‘Glow’. With as many reference points as the aforementioned, you could be forgiven that this album may end up being a little disjointed, to which you’d be sort of correct.
Frontman Kevin Iavroni, who departed in 2016 to concentrate on a barber career (although was later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease) only to return last year with a new incarnation of the band, brings a distinctive element to Old Wounds, whether it’s through his Davey Havok (AFI) inspired image, or vocally lying somewhere between Chino Moreno (Deftones) and Greg Puciato (The Black Queen/ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan).
Most of ‘Glow’ is great – not amazing, but merely great with a lot of diversity shown over its 28-minute running time, which brings some uniqueness to their sound. The main problem that lies within is consistency.
‘Your God Vs. Their God’ commences with an explosive mixture of thrash metal and straight-up in-your-face punk attitude. That chaotic diversity is shown immediately as the chorus introduces predominantly clean vocals with some casual rapping thrown in for good measure. And ‘Stripes’ has a tangible Deftones vibe with a calmer pace that nicely settles down the atmosphere.
But then ‘Beauty Mark’ kicks in. What can only be described as a retro 1980s post-punk song, it completely derails the album of the momentum its generated thus far and inevitably causes and abudance of confusion.
Similarly, tracks like the pop-punk infused ‘To Kill For’ and the full-scale assault ‘Failed Design’ lift the album in terms of quality, with the latter combining a fascinating mixture of jagged guitars, discordant atmospherics, and an emotively frantic vocal delivery that may just be the highlight of this release. Although, this is then followed up by ‘…Vanilla Filth…’; a 60-second industrial metal tinged track full of white noise effects and confusion.
Despite these wobbles, the album does veer more towards earning the chance to get to grips with its listeners. While neither cohesive, brilliant or terrible, ‘Glow’ is one of those records that you’ll have to persevere with to get any sort of cohesion from. However, its goth rock aesthetic combined with riffs and metallic hardcore ferocity is worth repeated listens to potentially polish a potential diamond lying within.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!