Review: “Eternal Isolation” by Born A New

Closing their debut full length album “Eternal Isolation” with the lyric ” You me want to be dead. But I’d rather kill you instead” ‪New Jersey Metallic Hardcore crew Born A New make a powerful statement. The follow up to 2017’s “Peace Is Dead” that features a guest appearance from Travis Tabron of Varials fame as one of its stand out moments there was a lot of hype around this highly anticipated new album…

‪Your quintessential 76 second riff fest that takes a leaf out of Kublai Khan‘s notebook “Black Bone‬” is a more or less instrumental bounce that grabs the attention from the start. First track proper “Buried Youth‬” kicks in with some two stepping Metallic Hardcore groove and some thunderous kit work. It’s pretty obvious that Born A New have got beef. Mixing up the vocals with some staple uncleans and some rap-screams makes for an interesting melting pot while a clean line pre-breakdown at the end sets the tone for one of the later tracks. Nuanced into the mix are some synths that appear under a couple of breakdowns that are unnecessary but don’t take away from this solid opening.  A Metalcore introduction leads in the bass heavy stuccato riffage of “Back Breaker‬”. There are hints at Nu-Metalcore and even Gloom in the guitar work with some pointers to the likes of Emmure being an influence. All verse and no chorus it’s a headbanger of a cut that again features a clean rapped vocal line. ‪”Cell of Mind” features a guest vocal appearance from I AM frontman Andrew Hileman‬ and sees a continuation of the lyrical finger pointing of the earlier material over some pretty solid Metallic Hardcore riffage. Hileman’s Deathcore overtones grace just the final pair of vocal lines which seems like a wasted opportunity as his moment lifts the track above some of the other cuts on show.

Featuring the album title lyric and a surprise piece of haunting lead riffage ‪”Solum‬” points at struggles with anxiety and depression lyrically while playing out over some of the heavier riffs on the album and some impressive kit work. The drums throughout have a great sound and have the variety that points to a great player. And then everything goes left with ‪”Vivir para la Muerte‬”. A bass heavy hip-hop track with a clean rap vocal that was hinted at earlier in the album. The gangster rap beats and flow for a single elongated verse is so out of place with the earlier material that rather than being the pallette cleanser that is could be it instead breaks the flow of the album. From this point on, having been an album with a great flow between the tracks that sounds cohesive, things get bitty and tunes sound out of place in the context. One of the earlier singles ‪”Vile Filth”‬ brings a bass heavy click-y Nu-Metal tone to some stompy attitude guitars that sees a return to the unclean vocals but with a rap-scream flow. Slowing things to a downtempo groove for a breakdown and verse to close things out elevates things and gives a sense of tension. A haunting music music backed speech sample ‪”X‬” is a 54 second intro piece to bring in the final trio of tracks and is the pallette cleanser that the hip-hop track could have been.

What it does is usher in the start of ‪”Empty Oceans‬”, which sees another completely new style in the mix. The first 54 seconds are so are aching drawn out clean sung vocals with Progressive Metalcore guitar work that again are incredibly ill fitting in the context of the album and for the second time make you check the dial as a listener, thinking you’d been somehow zapped into something else. A feedback bath then leaps track into some more of the albums core sound with some choice Metallic Hardcore riffage but a return to the melloncholic sadness tinged Progressive Metalcore underpinning towards the end makes the whole thing eerie and out of place. Whether it’s meant to be a showcase as to what the band are capable of musically or something, it’s so out of place that it ends up being an uncomfortable listen. Returning to their core sound with ‪”Black & White” a track which features something of a surprise appearance from Daniel McWhorter‬ of Alabama Hardcore crew Gideon, sees the band come back swinging. If this had been further up in the running order, it may have had more of an impact but it stands alone in the more experimental tracks and itself features an off kilter lead guitar part that simply sounds out of place and doesn’t fit. It’s obvious that it’s an attempt to build a haunting atmospheric but sonically it’s lost in the bludgeoning rhythm of riffs and kit work which is a real shame. An open letter from son to mother ‪”Message to a Deadbeat‬” is an exploratory lyric into some feelings of abandonment and what that has meant in the context of life. It’s a deeper lyrical theme that is a real thought provoker as it runs against the usual Hardcore themes of family. Musically it wraps around nicely to the opening tune and is a fine place to end any album. It’s just a shame that the album running order wasn’t sequenced better and that the latter half is so bitty [6/10]

‪Tracklisting

‪1. Black Bone‬
‪2. Buried Youth‬
‪3. Back Breaker‬
‪4. Cell of Mind (ft. Andrew Hileman‬ of I Am)
‪5. Solum‬
‪6. Vivir para la Muerte‬
‪7. Vile Filth‬
‪8. X‬
‪9. Empty Oceans‬
‪10. Black & White (ft. Daniel McWhorter‬ of Gideon)
‪11. Message to a Deadbeat‬

“Eternal Isolation” is out now via Stay Sick Recordings

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