Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: Last Witness - Mourning After

 The rise of underground London hardcore mob Last Witness is one that's had it's difficulties, most notably the falling apart of the group before anything really began for them when their 2008 debut An Unfinished Lie was lost and abandoned. It's only following it's release 2 years later that the quintet decided it marked a time for them to get back on their feet. And it's a good thing they have as they've now come roaring back more realistically and brutal this time with their charming comeback release Mourning After.

 As opener The Void thunders into action, you get a basic and effective image of the overall musical impression of this album, that it is very much metalcore sounding it's most earthly, as in this style of music is played to sound it's roughest, in a way that upholds it's hardcore punk roots with a much greater respectability. The frenzied screeching of frontman "Theo" have the sound of vocal chords being dragged along sandpaper in the scorching ferocity, which really help characterize the unrefined fury and bile of Exorcism and Somnambulism.
 The hardcore performance is second to none in creating an atmosphere of absolute brutality, chaos and anomie. The immense spiraling riffs and pounding drumbeats found in Pan-Am Smile perfectly characterizes the songs sense of danger and exhilaration and the switches between the doom-laden slower passages and intense series of breakdowns found on Magnolia and the epic closer Marionette effortlessly reveals the groups chaotic nature in a form that is very real and heart-stopping with the simply juggernaut riffs from Bobby Daniels and Anthony Sykes.
 So to use a cliched phrase, Mourning After is very much an album of all killer, no filler. Last Witness make an astonishing effort in playing metalcore at it's most raw and most monstrous that will pound every listener into submission with it's balls to the wall brutality and relentless hardcore and bleak attitude. The return of Last Witness is very much a return that all hardcore enthusiasts can be grateful for. This is metalcore as it should be.

Last Witness' Mourning After is out now via Holy Roar.

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