Bands that have released debut records and EPs that are nothing short of awe-inspiring, such as The HAARP Machine
, Raising The Veil
, and Fail Emotions
, are definitely uncommon in the metal realm. Continents
is certainly part of this crowd, since for a relatively new band, has shown the band’s true power with one full-length release. It all started back in 2009, when the quintet took form in South Wales, United Kingdom
. Afterwards, the band released their debut single in 2011 simply entitled “Trials
.” Although it only was one song, being a digital single, the single alone already made it clear that Continents
had a lot of potential in their wake, teeming with some nice aggression and brutality from both the hardcore and deathcore genres. Subsequently, the quintet landed a deal with famous Chicago-based label Victory
Records, current harbor of bands such as Emmure
and Jungle Rot
. This leads to the band releasing their debut full-length album in 2013 “Idle Hands
.” Boasting twelve tracks, including the earlier single release, Continents
demonstrates how a band can become a leading group in their own genre with their first multiple-track album.
The first two great aspects about “Idle Hands
” are the musicianship and the production. Starting off, the vocals, performed by both the lead singer and guitarist, are raw and aggressive, two qualities that are essential for hardcore vocals. They express the rage behind some of the lyrical content, including some notable lines such as “From the bottom of my heart, fuck you” from “Trials
” and “Show us everything, tell us everything, it’s about time you make us believe” from the title track, incredibly well. In addition, the guitars, despite being on the more brutal side of the spectrum, do a great job of balancing between heaviness, atmosphere, and melody. They brandish some powerful riffs, whether they are brutal chugs or surprisingly uplifting melodies, defining their own explosive versatility greatly. The drums are also solidly performed, having great potency in their sound. With all of these elements being awesomely played out, the musicianship overall is one of the greatest strengths of this record. Another praiseworthy aspect of this album is the sound production. The vocals and instrumentals sound very natural yet crisp in their sound, but the album also sees the use of some occasional mixing effects, including toggling with the stereo system and stuttering effects, but they are used moderately to not overdo that element while increasing emphasis in the band’s sound. Along with the stellar musicianship, the production is another element of “Idle Hands
” that serves as a plus for this great release.
The majority of “Idle Hands
” consists of brutal and potent mixes of melodic hardcore and heavy deathcore, which Continents
does a fine job of performing. More
specifically, the music focuses on reaching between the fields of melodic hardcore riffs that somewhat touch upon the old-school style of the genre and the brutal beats and breakdowns of the deathcore genre. Aside from this nice form of genre diversity, another admirable trait of the music is that it holds both great explosions backed by great build-up. As opposed to being breakdown upon breakdown, the band does a splendid job of crafting their onslaught with powerful breakdowns with gripping riffs and bridges in between. This way, the album does not suffer from any filler, and the end result is a highly engaging release that really knows its way around getting its crowd to bang their heads wildly. Each song teems with violence and hatred, and not one of them falls flat in terms of both the mood and the formula. The only real shortcoming that “Idle Hands
” faces is that there is nothing that innovative or totally groundbreaking about the material overall. Therefore, if one is in search of something inventive in a metal or hardcore album, they sadly won’t find that much here. However, what makes this album so enjoyable is how well it represents its own genre of brutal hardcore. All in all, in terms of its fused heaviness, the album fares greatly in being successful in dynamicity and investment, making sure every hit it lands leaves bruises.
However, despite the album’s brutality, there is more to “Idle Hands
” than just its heaviness; it also has its fair share of melodic, anthem-like hardcore moments as well. As stated earlier, there is some uplifting melody to the music at some points throughout, but this is not just performed by the guitar work alone; the vocals also play a role in this aspect. There is only a little clean singing to go around here, but when it takes over the music, not only does it sound powerful, but it also adds to the anthem-like hardcore atmosphere the album brings. This thus emphasizes the broad genre field that this album deals with, stretching from anthem hardcore to vehement deathcore. Both
the vocals and guitars deliver some great melodies when they shine, making “Idle Hands
” both masterful in both the brutal and lighter realms of metal and hardcore.
With all things considered, “Idle Hands
” has proven to be a very strong release and a well-crafted representation of the modern hardcore genre. Firstly, the musicianship, backed by some stellar sound production and mixing, is performed very well, with every musician playing their part seeming to put a great load of energy into the music. Secondly, the bludgeoning fusion of anthem hardcore and deathcore is crafted so well in terms of its build-ups, explosiveness, and gripping nature that it’s rather difficult to listen through even just one song in the record without moving a muscle. Thirdly, although the album is mostly composed of this brutal hardcore onslaught, there is still some melody existing in certain parts of this listen, making way for some nice diversity that keep its audience highly invested while still flowing well with the harshness of the rest of the music. As stated earlier, the album overall isn’t that inventive in bringing anything particularly new or groundbreaking to its own genre, but even so, this album is done incredibly well on its own, and metal and hardcore fans that want something to smash furniture or flip over automobiles to are highly recommended to this fine release. “Idle Hands
” is a violent and powerful hardcore album that has proven to be an immediate step up in this quintet’s career.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/