South Dakota quartet Earth Groans describe themselves as being passionate about the hardcore scene, making aggressive music for passionate people and using their music as a vessel to form relationships with their fans. Now that’s some mission statement. Following up debut release “Renovate” with new “Rahab” via Solid State Records, the band have unleashed the beast. (Spin) kicking off with “Reign”, Earth Groans infuse punchy Metalcore groove with a hardcore barked vocal and Tech-Metal leanings. Coming out of the gates at pace and using guest vocals from JT Cavey of Erra fame, the song has instant headbang-ability. Meshuggah inspired riffage and a choice downtempo breakdown building into driven riff while using pace changes to enhance the energy rather than introducing lead work is an interesting way around. “Avarice” continues the bludgeoning riffage from guitarist Zachariah Mayfield while vocalist Jeremy Schaeffer’s barked scream is throat shreddingly consistent. It’s effective but there is very little in the way of variation. That’s not a problem as much as a simple fact. The stompy verse sections are obvious pit fodder while the scaling riffs are a fusing of Tech and WillHaven “Saga” era sounds.
Starting with a bouncy riff before dropping into punk speed metal “Heathen Heart” sees Schaefer talk about his concrete heart with a now familiar hardcore bark. The high pace and energy is maintained by the switching of the rhythm riffs and continuous use of guitar squeals. A massive Deathcore breakdown underpinned with a crescendo of pummelling rythmic drum work from Brady Mueller is a master stroke. “Allure” delivers a crushing slow breakdown from the very start allowing for a slower vocal delivery. A start-stop section breaks up the main chug before breaking back. The second time around a bouncy energetic riff takes its place and the whole thing is very reminiscent of Vanna at their the finest. “By Faith” comes swinging with both fists at break neck speed adding Tech-Metal leads over a swirling riff and a big bass judder. Dark atomspherics appear mid song with a Deathcore inspired Segway into the verse as the off kilter guitars leap around with style. Some critics will no doubt say that “Rabab” lacks some variety but being an EP that plays to the bands strengths. It’s both powerful and heavy hitting stuff. Aggressive music for passionate people. [7.5/10]
“Reign” Ft. JT Cavey of Erra
“Rahab” by Earth Groans is out now via Solid State.