Gungire – Scattered (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 1st November 2023
Rating: 8.5/10

Touted on their social media as “Japan’s most insanely angry band,” Gungire has some tall shoes to fill in staking such a claim. Featuring vocalist Nana, who also sings for Theo Nova and has performed some guest vocals for the also aggressive act Fate Gear. This is the first EP release from Gungire, and they play a relatively straight-forward form of metalcore, at least compared to the more genre-bending acts the country has been putting out in notable fashion. But that’s far from a bad thing, as Gungire have executed a sound with plenty of fury (and moments of grace) that should perk the ears of many who come across them.

With five songs that range in the mostly 3-4 minute mark, Gungire goes straight to the heart of the matter with each song. First track “Summer Love” opens with plenty of rage to back their claim, but also with a copious serving of melodies within the groovy, thrash-driven tempos. Nana’s vocals are fiery and aggressive. Operating in the metalcore range, the song does shift into more melodic gears as it approaches the chorus, but it’s not done in a more saccharine way so it blends better to the band’s more frantic side. “Trigger” pulls off an equally punishing beginning, heavy on modern grooves and playing off of Nana’s snarls. There’s a really cool, old school feeling to the chorus that blurs the melodic/heavy line quite well. “Bad Karma,” as the shortest song of the bunch, actually works in some more experimental moments with some electronics and sampling finding their way into the song, and it’s the most catchy song of the bunch. As if to balance out some of that, “Imperfection” has some absolutely frenetic sections – some of the strongest speed runs on the release. Finishing it off is “Circle of Wrath,” which sees them diving deep into some breakdown material, and they own it. Perhaps it’s because they don’t overdo it elsewhere, but it’s a nice and punishing moment.

Advertised as angry, Gungire live up to their own hype. There’s plenty of catchy riffing to be found at the same time, and Nana definitely shines with both her harsh and clean vocal range. Those looking for some solidly written metalcore that’s on the heavier side of the spectrum should find Scattered to be an unexpected treat. An excellent debut.

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