Review: “Ill Minds Vol. II” EP by Black Coast

Stoke on Trent Hardcore crew Black Coast played it safe with “Ill Minds Vol. 1” and stuck to their core sound, the sound of their 2016 debut “Crows of the North”. So how does their third EP effort compare? Is it a straight follow up like the second half of an album? Well the answer is no. The band have honed their skills and explored some of their other influences on this one…

“Act II” comes in swinging with those Hardcore Punk riffs the band are known for and plentiful caustic vocals from frontman Charlie Hewitt. Black Coast mix it up with some more classical melodic Metal lead flourishes and even slow things down for a sing-a-long styled chorus accompanied by a cleaner unclean vocal. “Solace” is a surprise of a second tune in, an achingly beautiful horizon gazing 102 second instrumental that perhaps would have sounded out of place simply tacked on the end. It’s a brace choice in the order of the songs but works really well. “Weird” offers some introspective lyrics and takes the band down a post-hardcore inspired route while mixing up the guitar sound. On the one hand you have some of the melodic leanings of a While She Sleeps esq song during the chorus and on the flip side you have some punchy hardcore parts the add bounce and gravity.

A cold synth sound brings in the opening riff of “Diablo” builds from those post-hardcore leanings into a full throttle Cancer Bats inspired tune that keeps that slower chorus section that allows the vocals more space to breathe. Closer “Lost My Limits” sees the band go straight Stray From The Path as Charlie Hewett rap-screams his way through some fast flowing verse lines. It’s such an obvious single with its straight to the point feral in your face nature that it was no surprise that it got the video treatment. The harsh sung chorus is the ideal contrast and the kit work is impressive while the guitar work returns them to their core sound done better [7/10]

“Ill Minds Vol. 2” by Black Coast is out now via Primordial Records

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