Review: “Self Titled” by Starved

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim Trevino at Fractured Audio and adorned by the dark artwork of Arthur Bohems, the debut EP from Blackened Hardcore purveyors Starved is a self titled one, which either means it’s their first record or it’s one that that they believe defines the sound that they’re looking to create. Released on 31st December 2020 with the band unveiling themselves on social media just a week before hand, they hail from South East Michigan and call their sound “Michigan Death” with elements of Death Metal, Deathcore and Black Metal both prominent and influential in the mix…

…From an ocean of feedback Starved lunge at your ear drums with the urgency of a rabid dog, throwing down with blistering energy at the start of “Politick” before pulling back for an glorious extended breakdown section and some pummelling groove, a cycle that repeats to full effect a second time over. The vocals are caustic and the band vent a politically charged lyric that asks the powers that be to shut their mouths and leave the populus alone. “Deadout” continues the sonic attack, switching from Metallic Hardcore to an addictive rampaging typhoon of Black Metal ferosity perferated by atmospheric plunges to breakdowns with the thoughts of a would be serial killer in another life roaring like a furnace to the bitter end. “Living The Dream” then bounces back to the Metallic Hardcore abrasions delivered at break neck speed with the searing dual vocal attack that sees then main bark play off against a shriller tone like concrete slab being cracked by a jack hammer. Are the vocals too much for the average Metallic Hardcore fan? Possibly but this blend isn’t for purists and in the current Metal age where bands often leap sub-genres multiple times in a single cut, it’s a pleasure and long may it continue. “Ugly” is exactly what it says on the tin when it comes to the vocal onslaught with tinges of Knocked Loose and not quite reaching the brutality of Strangled but it’s a close run thing. The pick slide is immense, it sounds like a knife cutting the tension in the room in a vent about dying alone that exposes the fragility of the mind as it tears you apart from within. The script then flips and the band focus on the “Vermin” that is the human race and the disgusting things some of society think is acceptable. Like Rats in a trap or Lambs to the slaughter, it’s a vicious titrate that is perfectly accompanied by a whirlwind of jagged riffs and percussive battery that is second to none and the chanted like “my bloodline will end with me” says it all. It’s time to get in the pit [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Politick
  2. Deadout
  3. Living The Dream
  4. Ugly
  5. Vermin

Self Titled” by Starved is out now and available over at bandcamp

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