Lincoln quintet Borders released “Diagnosed” in April 2017 to have played shows with the likes of Whitechapel, Faces of Eve and Martyr Defiled in support of it. Having appeared on our Black Map feature a few weeks back, we figured it was about time we gave them a full review.
“Analyst” gets things off to a flyer with DJent infused tech-metal with just a hint of Metalcore undertones. Big riffs and thought provoking lyrics flow freely from start to finish while setting a dark and volatile vibe. Plenty of bounce and staccato rhythms make way for lead melodies and break through the heaviness and build that dark and eerie atmosphere. “Comatosed” steps things up withe a heavier vibe that reaches out and touches Deathcore heights. Taking all the elements of the opening song and switching them up to 10 with more passion, drive, energy and verve, it’s a class act. The beatdown hardcore slow down breakdown adds an extra sheen to proceedings. “Indoctrinated” continues that approach for the most part but then takes a very unexpected left turn by adding clean vocals to the guttural lows. Reminiscent of the clean vocals from the likes of Jake Noakes of Oceans Ate Alaska, while they do add something else, they do appear slightly out of place, perhaps designed for a crowd sign-a-long amid a circle pit frenzy in the live arena. Overall the song has a great flow and keeping those clean vocals to a minimum works really well over multiple listens, losing that surprise factor from the first few plays. Closer “Watch The World Burn” opens in full on style with a flourish of tech-metal leads that may leave you doing a double take and think you’re listening to genre pioneers Heart Of A Coward. Fading and then bursting back with an almighty “Blegh!” in the mid section, the song utilises a fade and rise to amp up the heavier side while introducing some melodic tones. The clean vocalised backing harmony is a nice touch. “Diagnosed” by Borders does the most important thing an EP like this can do. It leaves you wanting more. It’s dark and sinister edge cuts through the fat of some other bands like a hot knife through butter. [7.5/10]