Review: “Abandonment // I Want To Be Well” from The Hope Burden

Hailing from Oxford, vocalist Josh Day, bassist Ryan Thornton, drummer Phil Platt and guitarists Neil Brewer and Jason Smalley formed The Hope Burden in 2016 with a desire to paint in Post-Metal with elements of Ambient, Black and Sludge Metal in their hearts. The band released their well received debut EP “Decline. Despair. Decay” in 2018 and have shared stages with Raging Speedhorn, Napalm Death and Hacktivist as well as playing Rabidfest and Bloodstock Open Air Festival having won the 2019 Metal 2 the Masses competition. Singles have kept the engine ticking over but after a four year wait they have treated us to a sophomore EP in “Abandonment // I Want To Be Well” which they’re calling a double A side creature double feature single but it also includes a remastered version of their 2020 burnt offering “Lamentation” and with a run time just six seconds away from 20 minutes, in this reviewers mind at least, that makes it an EP…

….Soaked in meloncholic atmosphere with some Post-Hardcore inspired riffs “Abandonment” finds Josh Day spilling his heart and soul out in a lyrical open letter of pain etched in blood as he screams each word with the kind of passion that tells you what he went through still burns and it’s achingly beautiful soundscape is fittingly almost melodically mournful in perfect contrast. Continuing the emotionally charged onslaught “I Want To Be Well” finds Day open his mind and allowing his introspective thoughts to spill out in the ultimate cathartic release. Desperation, depression and anxieties all swirling in a cauldron of black as the abyss beckons and the spellbinding soundtrack that accompanies it is refined and soothingly gracious. The piano parts are stunningly sobering, the melodic guitars crash like waves upon the jagged rocks and the tempo shifts are executed to perfection. A driven mid section injecting energy with a powerhouse display from behind the kit by Phil Platt, the clean and crisp drum sound allowing for his skills to be heard at their finest. 2020’s “Lamentation” isn’t simply and afterthought that is tacked on the end of the EP either, it’s a perfectly fitting accompaniment that runs alongside the other cuts with similar lyrical themes sonic stylings, until the crushing finale of down tempo rythmic aggression takes things from shoegazing to throwing your friends around in the pit. The Hope Burden have created something accomplished and very well thought out with this darkly beautiful melodic EP and deserve a lot of credit for it [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Abandonment
  2. I Want To Be Well
  3. Lamentation (Remastered)

Abandonment // I Want To Be Well” by The Hope Burden is out now

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