The best way to describe Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred (Metal Blade), is that Twitching Tongues wants to try on lots of new hats. Songs will switch back and forth between crunchy Hardcore, speedy Thrash and straight up balladry, while the lyrics vary from personal loss (‘Forgive and Remember’) to political strife (‘T.F.R.’). And that’s not to say that this multi-pronged approach can’t work or there aren’t memorable moments to be had here. It’s all a matter of consistency. Continue reading
It’s not often bands criticize their own work, but Twitching Tongues have admitted themselves that in the beginning their sound was “all over the place”. The Los Angeles-based quintet are back and they are hoping to rectify their previous mistakes with their third full-length album Disharmony (Metal Blade).
The title track begins with an extremely haunting piano melody and completely contrasts with your expectations. Although the song soon descends into heavy metal chaos, their newest material is more sophisticated and proves that Twitching Tongues have worked upon their previous mistakes. Many bands often try to simply be the loudest and heaviest, and although there are many kickass guitar riffs on Disharmony, Colin Young and co. are not afraid to show their softer side with a wide range of melodies and clean vocals.
It is often cliché to say that every song on an album sounds different from the last, but Twitching Tongues have been able to create songs which vary in both tempo and genre. ‘Cannibal’ is a fast-paced thrill-ride full of heavy vocals and extreme drumming, whereas ‘Love Conquers None’ has an extremely melancholy vibe, full of emotional backing vocals and an almost ballad-style sound.
There are many conflicting views on Young’s vocals, and it is not as easy as saying ‘you either love them or you hate them’. Colin’s vocal style is not dissimilar to Robb Flynn’s due to the mixture of half-screams and heavy cleans. His dramatic singing may not be to everyone’s taste, and if you are looking for heavy growls and screaming then you are going to be disappointed, but it is certainly hard to ignore how much passion and energy he puts into his vocal performance.
Although the lyrical content may leave much to be desired, it is hard to completely write off Twitching Tongues’ latest release. The band show many signs of promise and it is clear that their recent signing to Metal Blade and their extensive touring schedule has helped them to develop their sound.
Hardcore bruisers Twitching Tongues play belligerent metallic hardcore injected with elements of doom in this tasty live release. Raw and untamed, there are no click tracks or any post production tricks to shine up these gritty and nasty numbers. The balance on the album is impeccable, with every instrument given time to shine and just enough crowd noise. World War Live (Closed Casket Activities) flows well with enough atmosphere and crowd participation while being able to distinguish each instrument.
Recalling the solemn funeral hymns of Candlemass filtered through acts like New York’s Carnivore, there is little of these L.A. natives Californian sunshine to be had on this bleak release but that makes it all the better. Sure there are places where Colin Young’s voice is slightly off, but Twitching Tongues are a real band and seldom does this make a difference. Body blows like ‘Again And Again’ are fairly unremarkable but tracks like the soaring ‘Sleep’ shows what TT are all about, stomping doom riffage giving way to some dirty beatdowns. “I’ll be right back, I gotta take a piss” announces Young candidly. It’s a moment of levity between slabs of punishing downtuned aggression. It’s moments like that which sum up the dry sarcasm and acknowledge how pessimistic music can be uplifting and empowering, unlike the cretinus mosh-or-die machismo peddled by the likes of Emmure and company.
Recalling nineties stalwarts Life Of Agony, Twitching Tongues eschew generic thrash riffs, cries for unity and circle pits and the trappings of Metalcore which have overrun the scene with luddites in wife beater vests whose music can only convey anger and hatred. Their music is at once, sorrowful and full of regret but with uplifting melodies which will have hardcore fans punching the air. Young’s delivery is soulful and full of character even recalling Acid Bath’s Dax Riggs mixing power with vulnerability.
Nine songs of spit, sweat and blood mark this as an above average dose of hardcore doom which should gather attention from the metal and hardcore communities alive. Respect.
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