Just when you thought the melodic hardcore genre had been done to death, every so often there’s a band that hops along and breathes new life into a battered sound. North London’s Grappler shows off an orchestrated palette of sorrow on their newest record ‘Everything I’ve Ever Feared’. Produced by Lewis Johns (Bastions/Vales/Goodtime Boys) and mastered by Alan Douches (Converge/The Chariot/The Dillinger Escape Plan), this quintet will surely and certainly be drawing in waves of attention.
Themed with the desperate strive to be something more, ‘Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ is a very well-produced affair of intense hardcore punk craftwork. The core of this band’s music involves harsh yells riding along melodically infused guitars that twinkle or crash, a subtle bassline, and steady atmosphere hitting drum work.
There are plenty of highlights which show the power behind this formula: the almost spoken word and hazy interlude of ‘Stories Of Madness, Of Violence’ clears the fog wonderfully as it goes into the balanced majesty of ‘Edward’; ‘Panacea’ has an aura of poetic dizziness as it is led into multiple panicked voices; ‘I’m Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ takes a straight forward dynamic before taking a left turn into an unhinged melodic cathartic breakdown.
All of them however don’t measure to the climax of final track ‘Raised’ which crashes in waves and flows gently like a breeze. The sombre spoken word interlude, the weirdly churned out guitar work towards the end, and the harmonious female wail to scream rides wonderfully towards a post rock euphoric finish.
Grappler has certainly renewed my faith in a genre that has been steadily going stale; their brand of melodic hardcore punk evokes emotion, passion and grandeur to die for. It twists and turns into either an urgent pace or a gentle reflection. Overall this band from North London has a lot of potential under their belts, and this record is a testament to that.
‘Everything I’ve Ever Feared’ by Grappler is available on the 8th April on Dog Knights Productions.
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)