Review: “Aspire To Survive” by Severed Illusions

Hailing from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, Severed Illusions are a Metallic Hardcore band consisting of vocalist Kyle Cook, axe wielding duo Charlie Alexander and Johnny Waldeck, bassist and backing vocalist Stu Bennett and drummer Ant Jones. They fired their first shots with February 2020 debut “Stand Our Ground” and now return reloaded with “Aspire To Survive” two years down the line, switching to Stage 2 Studios in Bath for Josh Gallop (Phoxjaw, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Krooked Tongue) to record, mix and master.

Bringing back the late eighties and early nineties Hardcore style “Everything Everyone” perhaps shows off some of the influences of Severed Illusions with a “Punishment” era Biohazard bassline bleed out echoing the gloomy nature of the cover artwork. Injecting a little melody, “Take It And Tear It” punches with similar two step able riffs, the chunky bassline again giving it drive, this time match the purpose of the lyrical narrative that purposefully gets the fists pumping with regularly repeated and easily memorable lines. Sick Of It All stylings surface in “Something But Nothing“, which like most of the record has an instant hook with an air of familiarity to these cuts that makes them incredibly accessible. It’s actually a challenge not to scream along to some of the lyrics by the end of the first spin. The ebb and flow of “More Than This” is well worked, some of the jackhammer footwork surprisingly pushed to the back of the mix so as not to drown out the Hatebreed inspired riffs. The toms are also thumped to within an inch of their lives and all that is really missing is a whammy bar drop solo to add some crossover appeal to the rhythmic thunder and take Severed Illusions to the fourth dimension. Slick tempo changes make the finale “Far Too Long” an absolute pleasure, the old school rampaging kit work and riffage set to put starter mode from the very start. You can’t help but feel that the band would have far more opportunities if they were state side… [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. Everything Everyone
  2. Take It And Tear It
  3. Something But Nothing
  4. More Than This
  5. Far Too Long

Aspire To Survive” by Severed Illusions is out now via Kingside Records and available over at bandcamp.

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