Right from the first notes of Grappler‘s latest EP, ‘Everything I’ve Ever Feared’, it’s immediately apparent as to the direction this record is going. Make no bones about it, this is a hardcore record and that’s the road you’ll be travelling down when you listen to it, but you will be making some slight detours along the way. These deviations in this journey come in the form of other influences and genres.
It’s interesting to listen and pick out the different inspirations that become apparent throughout the six tracks. Whether it’s the punky guitars in ‘Edward’ or the noisey/feedback elements that not so quietly creep in, it’s certainly apparent that Grappler are taking the genre and building on it in the aid of a stronger release.
The vocals themselves particularly stand out; they’re a harsher scream whilst still maintaining a certain level of clarity. The kind that’s aggressive yet audible, which can only serve to help the band’s live game. ‘I’m Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ is a particularly prominent track that will see fans wanting to jump over one another to sing the vocals back to them.
Another vocally impressive track is the shortest track on the EP, ‘Stories Of Madness’, of violence where a piercing shout is set to the backdrop of some haunting, discordant guitar delivery. Whilst not one of the most original techniques, it works with the tone and subject matter of the song’s lyrics and it just wouldn’t have the same effect any other way.
In some places, you’ll have to keep your eyes on the track listing of the EP though, the production allows for a more live feel and as the songs segue into each other so effortlessly, it can feel more like a set compared to an EP. This is one of the many aspects that helps to elevate ‘Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ above other hardcore records or bands at the moment. Their well-placed clean sections and varying influences bring a different dynamic to life within the record.
The record then ends on the emotionally epic, ‘Raised’, a track that takes the previously mentioned elements and churns them into the perfect ending. Almost Like a bitter goodbye, the track adds a final touch of more metal esk vocals and leaves on an unsettling note, which serves its purpose in pushing you back to the beginning whilst the play count will continue to rise.
Written by Shaun Cole
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.