Hanging Fortress – Darkness Devours (Redefining Darkness Records)Wednesday, 25th November 2020
Death metal, doom, and…hardcore? If you think that one of those three shouldn’t be in the mix, perhaps you should give Hanging Fortress a few moments to convince you otherwise. The band’s directly heavy and lumbering tone gives a straight-up death metal attack, with an ominous doom presence, and links a bit of hardcore-inspired chug to give it a greater sense of immediacy and impact.
Once you hear it, the impact of all three sources is noticeable and rather seamless. The band mostly sits towards the mid-tempo range when it comes to riffs (or even slower at times) – this isn’t a speed run by any means. But because of it, you may want to prepare your neck workouts before listening, as Hanging Fortress is at their best with these mid-tempo chugging riffs that all but mandate some head movement when listening. The formula is direct enough – deliver pulverizing riffs to you without compromise. You’ll find them laced from nearly the beginning to the end of each track, with the only real breaks for your body coming when they decide to go in for some melodies instead of pure destruction. The melodic break in the title track being a good example, with a blackened vibe permeating the music just past the halfway mark until it tucks back into groovy territory. The tracks are shorter, with is to their benefit given the throttling, chug-based nature of the music, backed by cavernous growls that give the music an even heavier feel.
Darkness Devours manages to capture a dark and evil sounding vibe while giving it a more immediate sense of heaviness. It’s an intriguing formula for the band’s death metal meets groove template, and is sure to incite quite a riot in the live venue.