Review: “Enervation” by Windchimes

Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Gavin Fornelli (vocals), Larry Rupp (guitar/vocals), Lucas Redick (guitar), Dillon Giesler (bass) and Jordan Braverman (drums) form Windchimes, a band who break pretty much every single genre boundary that there is going. Their enticing and evil blend of Black Metal, Death Metal, Deathcore, Metalcore, Post-Metalcore and anything else you can think of makes for something that, like a Horror film,  you’re not sure if you want to embrace or hide behind the sofa from. The band used the writing and recording process for their self produced debut “Enervation” as a therapeutic release of negative energy and have already shared the stage with the likes of likes of Thy Art is Murder, The Contortionist, and Between The Buried and Me

An gentle, howling wind of melodic synth ruffles the feathers in a creepy fashion before a spoken word telling the tale of a loved one lost and remembered when the windchimes are heard. That inner monologue smashed by a clenched fist of furious hate at the World that took the person away with a pre-Deathcore edged Metallic Hardcore bomb blast of riffs that doesn’t perhaps have the chaotic element you might imagine, instead delivering a controlled and dominant performance of brutality. That’s “Mortal Body, Eternal Soul“, the opening few minutes of this record. Flipping the script Windchimes burst into Blackened Death Metal with moments of pure Deathcore fury for the title track of this EP entitled “Enervation“. All the atmosphere of Black Metal, screeching rabid vocal parts that bounce off the walls of your mind like a bullet ricochet inside your skull and yet the solid concrete slab of Deathcore bringing a sense of calm with skull crushing intent. If that wasn’t variety enough then single “Zetsubo // Succumb To” which features a guest appearance from Peter Rono of Kaonashi pushes the extremes within this band even further apart, like the parting of the Red Sea. An opening of eerie thoughts with nauseatingly twisted off kilter melody gives that sense of the schizophrenia about to happen, but you do nothing to stop it. Windchimes throw down into Black Metal, bursting at the seams with blast beats and howling riffs before slowing down into Death Metal and an almost bizarre yet brilliant passage of unhinged lyrics. Stepping back up into bludgeoning Slam is totally unexpected as the band shoehorn in as many styles as they possibly can; it avoids sounding like the train wreck it could be on paper because of the bands sheer talent and craftsmanship. The flow between the style shifts has to be perfect for this to work and it is exactly that. “Writing With Withering Foliage” continues the unorthodox writing approach, Black Metal rising from the very bowels of existence that flows into Death Metal with a raised fist and some killer lead moments before a downtempo Deathcore drop of staccato punishment decimates your ear drums. The arty elements once again rise to the surface with an eerie spoken word introduction to “Glassface” that is straight out of a black and white horror film and after the Chaos Machine roars back into life again, destroying all in its wake, somehow there is a place for some aching clean vocals. “My Echoing Soliloquy // Sunken” brings moments of Doom and even Grunge riffs amid the a Post-Hardcore and almost Jazz backdrop accompanied throughout by shrill banshee esq unclean vocals that tell a harrowing tale. Perhaps avant-garde is the right term for Windchimes; they certainly have something in common with Black Crown Initiate, Azusa and even The Dillinger Escape Plan in what makes them tick. The only real question that remains after this is whether next time around they can continue to make music this enthralling or whether they ease up on those style shifts and go along a more direct and less winding road [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. Mortal Body, Eternal Soul
2. Enervation
3. Zetsubo // Succumb To (FT. Peter Rono of Kaonashi)
4. Writing With Withering Foliage
5. Glassface
6. My Echoing Soliloquy // Sunken

Enervation” by Windchimes is out 30th October and available for pre-order here

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