Saturday, 3 March 2012

Review: Narrows - Painted

 One of the many spinoff groups to emerge from Botch, a group that pretty much summed up what hardcore was all about with their monolithic 1999 release We Are the Romans filled with complex and extreme riff patterns which effectively created the genre of mathcore as we know it today, frontman Dave Verellen's current group Narrows are doing a pretty good job in gaining the title for themselves, especially if their second release Painted is anything to go by.

 With just seven tracks, the group effectively tear the minds of listeners apart with a full on, in-your-face assault of bleak adrenaline packed punk riffs with a crushing heaviness and an unrelenting switch in time signatures and constant doom-laden atmospheres. The constant shifting in pace and rhythm found in the forceful opener Under the Guillotine reveals this album not be one that deals in accessibility and not one in which the goal is for people to feel comfortable and settled while listening.
 And so, throughout the albums listening, there's often an atmosphere provided that makes Narrows' music the soundtrack of delirium, there's little sense of control in the juggernaut growling of Verellen and the intense lead guitar picking which battles against the more stable rhythms, as demonstrated in Absolute Betrayer and Face Paint.
 With the exception of the more atmospheric and gentle Greenland, the overall tone of the album is one that is very much rooted in bleakness and nihility and very little else. Really, the experience of listening to this transatlantic group is one that is best suited in times where hatred is very much the prime sense of emotion. Painted is an album to listen to when one feels like shutting out the world and sinking away into the fiery gates of Hell and embrace the root of all despair. Have a nice day.

 Narrows' Painted is out now via Deathwish Inc.

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