If there was a genre that’s been done to death in every possible way, it’s Metalcore. Talk about everything and the kitchen sink, the genre has become oversaturated in recent years with the same tired template of songs, sounds and ideas which are rip-offs from the genre’s heyday in the noughties. There are still bands like Architects and Killswitch Engage who continue to grow both their audience and their sound by bringing new ideas to the table even if the genre is no longer the musical hotbed it once was.
This brings us to ExitWounds’s new EP Visions (Sharptone Records).
Opening with the title track, the lyrics gave the game away in the first few seconds: sounding like a typical angsty atheist teenager diary entry. It, unfortunately, sets the tone for the album. ‘Hades’ follows and it contains every single metalcore cliché in the book: occasionally dissonant riff, clean poppy chorus, and palm-muted chugs. Sure, it’s a formula that has proven to be effective and popular, but it’s not 2008 anymore and it feels like the same song has been played by many different bands over the years. Once again, the lyrics lack nuance and come across as juvenile.
Another track, ‘Scars’ stands out in particular for this very reason since it has the emotional subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face with an eye-rolling spoken word spouting some contrived introspection.
The rest of the tracks largely blend together as they all follow the same old song and dance. The only exception being ‘Medusa’ which does contains some interesting vocal and guitar melodies before falling back into worn out songwriting habits. Those who still religiously follow the Metalcore scene will probably enjoy this EP because it’s a faithful rendition of an established approach, and ExitWounds perform it competently if lacking in originality.
In terms of musically pushing the genre and contributing something new and exciting, though, Visions is stuck in the noughties while the vast majority of people have moved on, grown up and tried new things.
5 / 10