Having joined forces with vocalist JJ Olifent in 2016, Borders have seen a steady rise in the underground, and have supported many established metal acts such as Whitechapel and Martyr Defiled.
Their first EP, ‘Diagnosed’, was released in 2017, and received critical acclaim for its technical prowess combined with a brutal edge that lead to similar accolades in their live performances. Now on ‘Purify’, the band’s first full-length album, they seek to continue their tirade and peak above the underground scene.
Counting down the seconds to an internal apocalypse, ‘731’ hails down with thunderous pounding rhythms and confrontational lyrics, spelling out the psychological torment in dramatic fashion. Riding in on similar cadence, follower ‘Wake Up’ ups the ante by introducing cleaner sections that contrast well against the rapid and malicious riffs that are delivered in varied, sharp, and short blasts of technical prowess.
Introducing rap metal stylings, ‘Bad Blood’ opens up the soundscape, echoing with distant riffs and a wider atmosphere rather than a constant rat-ta-tat-tat of pedal drums, but ensures that continuity is maintained with drilling breakdowns that keep the spiralling vortex spinning.
Reading the riot act, ‘War’ spouts with rebellious utterances from JJ Olifent, who effortlessly flows between spoken word, guttural bellows, clean choruses, and visceral screams with back-up vocals provided by Gav Burton on guitars, adding emphasis to the more dramatic parts.
Corralling the troops, ‘A World Apart’ and ‘Faded’ rattle in sweeping riffs and dissonant breakdowns that encapsulates the flow of a river crashing down the mountain, slowing in the corners then crashing down the rapids and bouncing off the rocks in its path.
As a whole, ‘Purify’ centres around a powerful core that is emanated in every track from start-to-finish.