If you were to describe Atlases in a handful of words, “all about the vocals” would be quite appropriate. The vocals of frontman Jack Parsons are heavy, gut-busting and lead the line on the band’s ‘Upbringing’ EP. They’re at the forefront of everything and this gives the band a centre point for their particular brand of hardcore. The songs are punishing, the melodies are pulsating and the volume has to be cranked up for this release, as this band take no prisoners.
Opener, ‘Betrayer’, is as angry as the title suggests. The vocals tear through the rhythmic and uncompromising guitar riffs while the drums simmer and attack, these guys have a fantastic sound and a genuinely slick production. There isn’t much hope in terms of the themes here, but we all expect that from hardcore, right?
The rest of the EP sounds pretty much business as usual for this band. The vocals continue to sound tormented and filled with angst, while in songs like ‘My Testament’ the band add softer and more stripped back moments which work just as well as the heaviest stuff on the record. In one aspect, you could say the EP is a little too generic, there isn’t anything here that will surprise anybody who listens to hardcore on a regular basis. On the other hand, maybe the band should be complimented for sticking to what they’re obviously so good at; they’re a hardcore band, so they’ve stuck with the genre and ran with it.
This is new and fresh British hardcore at its finest. ‘Upbringing’ is a release filled with aggression and, for most hardcore fans, the best stuff is the heaviest and so this band shine on that front. Atlases have proved here that they can produce something that could be up there with the best in terms of this genre in the UK, but it’ll be interesting to see where their next record goes in relation to the band’s style and tone.
Written by Greg Spencer
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.