HomeReviewReview: “Beauty Is A Destructive Angel” by Renounced
23rd September 2019
Review: “Beauty Is A Destructive Angel” by Renounced
Returning for their third full length following 2017’s “Theories of Despair” are London Hardcore band Renounced who want to bring Death to false Metalcore. They’ve a part of the UK Underground Metal scene since 2013 and with Employed To Serve guitarist Sammy Urwin in their ranks their had been a school of thought that said they would be calling it a day, given ETS’s current success with the blinding “Eternal Forward Motion”. However that simply isn’t the case with Sammy Urwin very much a major part of the Renounced line-up and joined by vocalist Daniel Gray, guitarist Sam Knight, drummer Jack Bryant and guitarist Daniel Rayner. Interestingly the online biography reads that Urwin is the bands bassist, however when we saw them at Upsurge Festival in 2018, he was definitely playing guitar, so their may have been a line-up change that hasn’t been spotlighted…
…a haunting melodic introduction to the album, “Ghosts” is 105 seconds of melancholic guitar work that comes to life with some brighter riffs and big kit work that paves the way for first single “Self Inflicted”. Featuring a guest vocal appearing from Counterparts frontman Brendan Murphy and offering some Melodic Hardcore riffs against some deep and rough-sounding gravelly vocals, its as if we have been transported back to the early 2000’s Metalcore scene via a DeLorean hitting 88mph. Mid tempo chugs and early Killswitch Engage guitar work being the order of the day, modernizing with some post-hardcore singed moments it works very well. “In a Years Turning” adds in a aching clean harmonic vocal hum and the odd spoken word into the mix while squealing up the guitars with some classic hardcore breakdown moments. Changing up the tempo for the final 60 seconds and a last verse chorus pattern gives everything a sonic lift. “Saltation” is a word that would mean an abrupt evolutionary change or sudden large-scale mutation and its a fine summary for a song about self improvement, building yourself up to overcome and spreading your wings. The addition of a clean vocal doesn’t trigger a change in pace in the sonic attack, instead simply offering some respite from Gray’s brutal uncleans. A swirling whammy bar dive bomb and gang chant bring a brilliant and thought provoking track to a close in fine style.
The thunderous “Calloused” uses a play on silence by breaking up the rhythmic guitar chugs in a hammered pattern with momentary pauses to give everything a gravity. Oscillating around a few distinct riff patterns loaded with tension while incorporating more squeals into its chugs, it’s pit fodder in it’s finest form and the shortest track on the album (not including intro piece “Ghosts”) is a fine mortuary slab of Metallic Hardcore. Going from shortest to one of the longest cuts in the deck with “Calculated Risk”, Renounced slow things down a notch with and build up the tension during the first half before a spoken word “they didn’t have the strength to make it out alive” and some Death Metal inspired backing vocals during spin kicking violent riffs. Changing the styles with a seamless move into some bright post-hardcore infused riffs to bring things to a close with some epic drum rolls is a master stroke in musicianship. The track has a false ending of sorts with an acoustic melody rising from the fade that blends a rhythm and lead parts magically. “The Rico Conspiracy” is a titled to reference The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act original used in the 1970’s by Richard Nixon was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime. It’s an intelligent title used in the context of talking about filtering lies in a relationship that is failing. Bringing the clean vocals for a brief couple of lines in a track flooded with bright Metalcore riffs and a clean and crisp drum sound, the spoken word “I really wish you knew how beautiful you are” should be a wonderful moment live with audiences singing it back to the band before diving head long into the pit for the breakdown accompanied by an elongated roar from Gray.
Burning the World to ash “Torchbearer” brings some Unearth moments to the guitar work while building the tension with its riffage. A tribal drum pattern over a melodic break is something you might expect from Sepultura and showcases some wider influences with Jack Bryant arguably delivering the finest piece of kit work on the album. Two step Metalcore riffs kick “General Population” into life before a bludgeoning bridge and some caustic lyrics about writing all your wrongs. There is a fine polish to the album as a whole with exceptional flow with each tune intertwining nicely due to the time taken to order the tunes and get the pacing right. Each cut moves gently into the next with no juddering change ups or shock change downs to make you think you’ve been zapped into something else, which is part of the mastery of an excellent album. A point often missed of late is that an album is more than just a collection of songs and this album is greater as a whole than the sum of its parts. A progressing that gives the impression of dueling guitars brings things to a crescendo breakdown second to none. Title track “Beauty is a Destructive Angel” is a battering ram that relentlessly riffs with nuanced change ups and downs that mirror the ones used in the album as a whole. What you don’t expect amid the relentless bludgeoning is the feedback followed by an acoustic bridge that then climbs back out with a whisper into full throttle Melodic Hardcore. It’s done so well and adds an emotional depth giving the later part greater punch that it’s a winner. A warm acoustic introduction brings in “In a Statue of Frozen Glass” in fine form. Some more of the bigger tribal drum patterns make way for some jazz feel ones with the glass shattering unclean vocals appearing over the melodic bridge as Renounced move through beautiful lead flourishes in brilliant form. As a whole, hands down the finest hour from Renounced is this one [8/10].
2. Self Inflicted (Ft. Brendan Murphy of Counterparts & END)
3. In a Years Turning
6. Calculated Risk
7. The Rico Conspiracy
9. General Population
10. Beauty is a Destructive Angel
11. In a Statue of Frozen Glass
“Beauty Is A Destructive Angel” by Renounced is out 27th September via Holyroar Records and available for pre-order here