Rest – Rest (self-titled)

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Label: Third I Rex

For all its nihilism and intended obscurity, it’s interesting to note how black metal has gone from being a fringe movement within metal to one of the most widely listened to sub-genres. Its satanic, blasphemous influence can be found in all sorts of places these days, adding further edge and intensity to musical styles that were often already defined by those aspects. Blackened hardcore is one such style, and Rest follow in the footsteps of bands such as All Pigs Must Die and The Secret, with their self-titled debut EP being a fifteen minute blast of hardcore violence and black metal frostiness. It might not do anything too new with the style for the most part, but its passion and intensity are more than enough to make this record more than worth your time.

There’s little subtlety at play on Rest, with the band taking almost no time to launch in to a full-blooded hardcore assault. The intensity is reminiscent of bands like Converge, with black metal tremolo-picked leads rising out of the violence to give the music that extra character which can make blackened hardcore so convincing. “III” is the best example of this, where the black metal leads come to the fore during small pauses which emphasize both how violent and devastating the crusty hardcore aspects are, as well as the chilling effect of the leads, before the song moves in to slower, icy territories towards the end.

Closing track “V” is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch. Whereas the other tracks on the EP don’t stray far from the blackened hardcore blueprint, the closing track experiments with much more unsettling and ominous atmospheres. Built upon cycling drum patterns and repetitive riffs, along with unnerving, all too human samples, there’s an almost industrial weight to its movements, and whilst the rest of the EP demonstrates that Rest are capable of writing incredibly violent, punishing tracks, this song shows that they’re also able to do something different with the genre. It helps distinguish them from some of their contemporaries, and it would be good to see them build on this side in the future.

As it is though, the passion and talent displayed on Rest means that it shouldn’t go unnoticed, and fans of bands such as The Secret and Young And In The Way will lap this up. Violent, intense, and all but impossible to resist, this is everything you’d hope for from blackened hardcore.

Rest is set for release on November 27 2016. It can be pre-ordered on CD and streamed via Bandcamp.

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