Bound in Fear – The Hand of Violence (Unique Leader)Wednesday, 14th August 2019
If downtuned riffs and gurgle-y vocals bring all the deathcore boys to the yard, then consider Bound in Fear the hippest kid in town. The British deathcore act has partnered with Unique Leader for The Hand of Violence, after getting their name out there and accumulating some buzz for their Regicide EP. But for those looking for anything other than pure downtempo aggression, you’d be well advised to avoid this one.
In terms of the sound that they represent, Bound in Fear will undoubtedly have some fans rooting for them. Their sound is entirely uncompromising and the only word that can sum it up is brutal. But it’s literally the only word that you can use to describe them. It’s made up entirely of chugging, near crawling riffs that want nothing more than to rumble speakers. Unfortunately, there’s almost no life behind them. They just crawl along, at near doom-y tempos that are interrupted by even slower breakdowns. While it’s not a jarring change, they simply plod along with nothing to shake things up. A few fleeting occurrences happen, like the surprisingly catchy mid-tempo groove that opens up “Void of Life,” but it quickly reverts back to a crawling chugfest. In and of themselves, the vocals are impressive. The lows are practically inhuman, and a few shouts/barks separate things out. But much like with slamming death metal, they are way too upfront in the mix – though in this case it’s potentially to mask the lack of interesting riffs. Add in the cringe-y ‘tough-guy’ moment at the end of “So Long, So Cold” though, and it loses a bit of the punchiness. They also attempt to pull in some atmosphere to the crawling tempo with some mild synths and electronics, but for a number of moments, it’s just to put something with the vocals so that a listener somewhere is going, “Bro, those vocals are so siiiiiiiick!”
The Hand of Violence is a real head-scratcher. There’s little to no variation or dynamics to the tracks. It’s a slow, agonizing crawl for the most part – and at almost 45-minutes in length it’s excruciating to listen to all at once. Call this scribe old fashioned, but death metal should be gripping, not boring, to listen to.