Manchester. The home of Slam, Rebellion and Satan’s Hollow. It’s also where BDHW Records picked up Guilt Trip on a street corner on a wet Wednesday night and took them on a journey. Vocalist Jay Valentine, drummer Tom Aimson, bassist Bradley Hall and guitarist duo Jak Maden and Nick Clark signed up for the follow up to their 2016 debut “Unrelenting Force”, giving it the title “River of Lies” and snapping up Andrei Bouizkov for the cover art.
Opening track “Intro” crosses over Metallic Hardcore and Thrash with a whammy bar Power Trip moment amid some mortuary slab heavy riffage. The only call being “River of Lies” during the menacing groove. Bursting into the album title track “River of Lies” that will no doubt bring out the two steppers at the shows, the music packs the punch of a heavy weight boxer. The drum and bass sounds are classic genre elements going off like cannons with laster scope precision. “Blood” has some Fit For An Autopsy equaling squeals in some brutal riffs while the menacing slowdown at the end could have been prolonged into some Downtempo groove but is cut short as the band opt for a less is more approach as they do throughout the album. Getting a pair of guests of board is pretty much a scene staple at this point and Matthias, frontman of French Beatdown Hardcore crew Nasty is the first and obvious choice. He joins on “Apparition” in style, a finger pointing anthem that calls out the naysayers, back stabbers and people who like to talk a good game but don’t have the cojones to back it up. “Forked Tongue” bolsters the Hardcore with some Hatebreed stylings and the classic leads and chord progressions are done with the energy and efficiency of a band that love every second. Each track is a short, sharp, lean and mean groove. There is no fat to be trimmed, no weight that could be lost. Straight up. Straight to the point and then out.
The second guest is Alex of Exemption who appears on “Hand of God”, another powerhouse cut on an album of powerhouse cuts that is loaded with more breakdown riffage than your neck can take. Valentine talks of being sick of holding in the emotions and the weight of the World so he releases it in the best possible way, by screaming into the microphone with a barked approach and leaving it all on the walls. A verse and no chorus over one of the stand out riffs of the album “Thin Ice” has a jackhammer performance from Tom Aimson as Valentine threatens to put a brick though it. Absolute class. “Deceit” allows the bass to bleed though with some neat guitar breaks whole progressively slowing the battering rhythmic riffs for a scream of “NO!” in fine just off Downtempo groove. The biggest surprise on the album is the classical acoustic moment of “Tempest”. A more technical version of something we’ve heard from the likes of Metallica, it interweaves a pair of acoustic guitars for a moment of clarity before the heaviest cut on the album comes in with full force. “Cyclone” is the heavy hitter that tempo shifts with seamless mastery and purpose. Valentine rages with self loathing and introspection but is clever with it, only touching the surface and not engaging any form of emotion other than rage. The result is a furiously venomous attack that closes the album like a kick in the face from a size 10 pair of Doc Marten boots. If you’re after a slab of classic Metallic Hardcore rage along that is simple but stunningly effective, then this one is yours [8/10]
River of Lies
Apparition (ft. Matthias of Nasty)
Hand of God (ft. Alex of Exemption)
“River of Lies” by Guilt Trip is out now via BDHW Records and available here