Ah, the faithful crossover. A style of music that has been a staple within the metal community since its earliest of years. The process of bringing together the best of riffs and heaviness with a different element to create a completely new genre can go one of two ways and in recent years, the inclusion of electronic elements within post hardcore has been a predominant trend. Some bands thrive, some flop and some are like The Browning. Disgusting name, mental music. This is ‘Isolation’.
To sum it up, The Browning let brooding EDM bleeps and drops snake menacingly round formulaically down-tuned breakdowns to make a baffling yet strangely brutal mix. This is their third offering of such a style, and ‘Isolation’ feels more rounded than either of their previous efforts. Opening duo ‘Cynica’ and ‘Pure Evil’ batter with dancefloor destroying groove and unrestrained disgust at a dying world, while ‘Cryosleep’ could slot quite easily onto an Ibiza playlist without much hassle. For a sound that at times seems all a bit too squeaky clean, it’s amazing that ‘Isolation’ feels particularly raw.
There’s an almost dystopian feel to The Browning’s damaged songwriting that only makes their style of music even more brooding and ominous. It’s not all clear sailing though. There is really only so much that can be done with a formula of this kind, and it starts to fall a tad flat very quickly. ‘Fallout’ plods along monotonously while closer ‘Pathologic’ sees things out with an all too familiar fizzle instead of a bang. It’s all a question of how much ridiculousness your body can muster really.
Overall, The Browning know what they want to be and run to the hills with it. At times ‘Isolation’ may hit the peak of tolerance and at others just be rather irritating, but saying that the band have embodied everything that is undenaiably addictive about metalcore and dance music, and that’s kind of the whole point really isn’t it? It won’t suit everyone’s palette, but for those who don’t take themselves too seriously there will be something here to bop your head to when the new Radiohead album gets a bit boring.
’Isolation’ by The Browning is out on 24th June via Spinefarm Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)