Melodic hardcore heavy hitters The Departed from Grimsby come out swinging on punchy second release, ‘Steal The Crown’, with the odd catchy chorus and venom-laced words of defiance. For a band who list their interests as “The appalling state of the world today”, it’s plain to see that this fierce five-piece have a thing or two to say about society, and they’re not afraid to scream it in your face.
The album kicks off with a relatively controversial prelude, featuring an overused soundbite of renowned atheist Richard Dawkins discussing religious belief and the susceptibility of the human mind to hallucination. Here is a band that has no problems getting their message across plain and simple, but in terms of the commonly anti-establishment themes associated with hardcore, this is more of a cliché than the provocative statement it was intended to be.
Although stylistically sound, the lyrics themselves sound formulaic and often unimaginative, with the defiant tirade of ‘All Or Nothing’ or the twisted social commentary of ‘Fools Will Follow’. That said, essentially every track on the album is nothing less than thought-provoking and offers an interesting insight into humanity. A lot of the album’s minor downfalls can be ignored, thanks to the sheer catchiness of it all, managing to create something empowering and vibrant that makes you want to get up on your feet and go a little bit mental.
‘Steal The Crown’ epitomises the key drawing points of melodic hardcore: succinct vocals about standing up for your beliefs, a love of palm-muted riffs, hooks to engage, and drumming planned entirely around optimal head banging. It’s fun to listen to, but when you sound this much like every other hardcore band for the last ten years, it’s hard to stand out.
Despite being fairly generic, at less than thirty minutes, this is but a brief insight into what one of the UK hardcore scene’s dedicated prospects has to offer and the perfect heavy pick-me-up if you’re feeling enraged and have half an hour to burn.
Written by Ben Hammond