Friday, 16 March 2012

Horrors That You've Seen - Breaking Hearts


This is the debut album from Horrors That You've Seen, who hail from Edinburgh and play doomy, sludgy-hardcore. I actually featured these guys here, in August last year.

Tracklist:-

1. Graves
2. Drop Dead
3. Forget You Past. Bury Your Future.
4. Reality (Is All I Have)
5. Sinking Ships...
6. ...Breaking Hearts
7. Expectations
8. Fleshmarket
9. Worthless Idols
10. Doomed
11. Item 9

The album starts with the appropriately named Graves, with a sinister, repeated riff. The rhythm section and second guitar are hidden in the mix a little and it's only around the 2-minute mark that they kick out the jams, with a heavy slab of doom infused hardcore. Second track Drop Dead has a great old punk vibe to it, and is a lot more instant. It's got some great, wailing guitar and thunderous instrumental parts that perfectly match the anger in vocalist, Graham Caldwell's screams.

I like the variation in the pace of the tracks early on in this record. From the slow build of Graves, to the immediate hit of Drop Dead, to the more mid paced third track Forget Your Past. Bury Your Future. The production of the record is exactly as you'd expect from a dirty, sludgy punk band. It's rough around the edges and that's what gives it its charm.

I hear hints of Unsane and Cancer Bats in the music, but also influences of some of the bands they've shared the stage with, like Dead Swans and Brutality Will Prevail. That means an awesome, varied sound and one, which will no doubt cause chaos, in a small and sweaty pub backroom.

These guys are the reason I love underground acts some much, because they play with the passion and energy that most of the big, established bands lack now and with every listen to their record, you think they recorded while playing to a room full of stage diving, head-banging metalheads!

Fifth track Sinking Ships makes you believe your heading to a watery grave, while the title track follows straight afterwards with the same passion and murderous intent.
The doom-laden riffs at the mid point of the title track are brilliant and the ringing feedback adds a sense of claustrophobia to it all. If people don't think Gallows are the same now, they should get into Horrors That You've Seen, as they could take their mantle!

As you pass into the second half of the album, you've already been on one hell of a journey, but thankfully, due to the audible vocals, you don't feel bruised and battered and on seventh track Expectations, HTYS begin to be more experimental with their sound, introducing more laid-back clean guitar and some sweet glimpses of discordance. The short sharp thrash inspired section towards the end pave way for lonely screams and sick NOLA inspired riffs. Fleshmarket has a great rock 'n' roll vibe to it, but is one of their fastest songs. HTYS really start to flex their muscles towards the end of the record, with Worthless Idols being a hellish piece of hardcore and doomed being exactly that.

So to round this review off in style, Breaking Hearts has to be heard. Horrors That You've Seen are another reason to support hard-working, British bands at the moment, purely for the variety and ingenuity that they show. Plus that fact that there are awesome homegrown labels like Dead Dead Dead Music putting this stuff should be reassurance enough that our scene is in very good hands.

You can listen to Breaking Hearts for yourself via Bandcamp below:-



If you like, it's up there as a "Pay What You Want" download. You can also buy a physical CD release of the album at their BigCartel store at http://horrorsthatyouveseen.bigcartel.com/. You can also pick it up from Dead Dead Dead Music at http://www.deaddeaddeadmusic.bigcartel.com/.

Just do me a favour, and check this album out!

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