Tag Archives: truthseeker music

Review: Yards’ Excitation Thresholds

It’s been a long time coming but the debut long-player from Yards is finally here. Excitation Thresholds is a 33 minute metallic hardcore assault that noticeably benefits from the amount of time Yards have had to perfect their craft. Everything on this album is here for a reason and it never outstays its welcome.

Despite being a shouty, aggressive hardcore act, Yards have a lot of strings to their bow. During the first half of the album we see the band getting straight to the point and absolutely blasting our faces off with massive riffs, terrifying vocals and one of the thrashiest, loudest drumming performances put to record. The drums in particular are always front and centre in the mix and they really heighten the ferocity of the music on Excitation Thresholds.

But then Yards start to do something different. The tempo slows down a notch and favours a more mid-paced, stompy approach to heaviness that’s just as effective as when the band are going full steam. The album likes to jump between the two styles and it keeps the record fresh and exciting with every song. For example, the no-nonsense hardcore attack of War Tourist is followed by the mid-paced, chunky assault of Everything You Love Reduced to Rubble. This happens again with The Attic, which despite being 4 minutes long and crammed full of ideas, manages to go flat out for its entire run time. Then we get BL-755 which is an extremely bleak and oppressive track that deals more in atmosphere than savagery.

Yards manage to showcase some extremely diverse song-writing for a band that are this unashamedly aggressive. By the time we get to album closer The Shadow Stealer, we get to experience a song that encapsulates all the ideas that came before it in one mammoth 7 and a half minute beast. It’s fast, it’s dark, it’s atmospheric, it’s punishing. It’s everything Yards stand for and a career highlight for one of the most exciting bands in hardcore right now.

Yards’ Excitation Thresholds is an instant recommendation. If you want to hear a passionate, exciting hardcore band putting all their cards on the table and never putting a foot wrong then this is the album for you. Sure, it’s over pretty quickly, but any more time spent with music this visceral would be exhausting. It’s the perfect length for one of the most diverse and relentlessly savage debut albums in recent memory.

9/10

Yards’ Excitation Thresholds is out now and available to buy on vinyl from Truthseeker Music.

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Review: Regurgitate Life’s Obliteration of the Self

Sammy “Twelve Bands” Urwin returns with a new Regurgitate Life long-player entitled Obliteration of the Self and it marks a significant change in sound that’s entirely a product of the addition of a live drummer in the form of Daryl Best from technical hardcore act Eulogy.

If you’re not familiar with the multitude of different guises that Sammy Urwin appears under, Regurgitate Life started as a solo project to allow Urwin to express his love for death metal. The project shares a similar level of heaviness to another Urwin project, (and Scumscene favourites) Oblivionized. The main difference between the two is that Regurgitate Life’s music adheres to its time signatures and isn’t so freeform as a result.

This isn’t to say that Regurgitate Life are a very straight-forward band when it comes to song-writing. Melodies and riffs rarely appear twice in the same song and each track on Obliteration of the Self follows a progressive structure that naturally moves towards its destination, with all the force of a runaway locomotive. This is extremely heavy music, full of constant double-bass drumming, low-end growls, blast beats, amp destroying riffs and flourishes of tremolo-picking.

Thankfully the song-writing always shines through the melange of death metal techniques and every song on Obliteration of the Self shows a level of precision musicianship that moves exactly as you’d expect it to. Special mention has to be given to Daryl Best who doesn’t sound like he’s trying to keep up with Urwin’s virtuoso guitar performance, but actually compliments it with a stunningly varied and incessant performance of his own that will certainly appeal to fans of Aghast.

The record also knows exactly when to give the listener a breather. Tracks like The Great Divide, House on the Cliff Face and Ownlife show moments of respite that never sound forced, but enable the music’s drop back into blast-beat territory to carry even more impact. It’s not exactly a light-and-dark contrast because this is a pretty dark album throughout, but it shows awareness that the music could have become exhausting without a little down-time.

Obliteration of the Self is a natural step forward for Regurgitate Life and the addition of live drums has made this a more cohesive package as a result. Urwin has admitted in the past that his programmed drum patterns are often a little unruly and near impossible for a real drummer to perform, so having a force like Daryl Best in the band has had such a positive impact on the music. Obliteration of the Self is a brilliant death metal record that showcases two musicians firing on all cylinders and is a “must listen” for anyone who can appreciate music this unrelenting.

8/10

Regurgitate Life’s Obliteration of the Self is out now and available to buy from Truthseeker Music on limited edition digipak CD.