Album Review: 156/Silence – Irrational Pull 8 (Metallic Hardcore)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • 156/Silence
  • Irrational Pull
  • Metallic Hardcore
  • Pennsylvania, USA
  • June 5, 2020
  • 8/10

They really buried the lead with this one, it starts off much more typical than I would like for metallic hardcore, being closer to what I wanted the new Code Orange to be without adding all that much. About halfway at the track “Lost Visual” however, is an insane sonic moment that gripped me and filled me with shivers, allowing me to appreciate more on repeat listens. With that said, there are a few things for the album as a whole that could have improved it significantly.

Artwork by Ben Hoagland

Metallic hardcore has carved out it’s own niche in the last decade but Irrational Pull really seems to respect the metal part of the namesake. The vocals contribute to this greatly. Huge variety here between Jesus Piece style throating, Knocked Loose style voice breaking and Vein style nu metal whispering and kinda rapping. It’s a mixed bag that emphasises the heaviness nicely across the board. It’s not until “Problem Addict” that I got what I really wanted though, which was an impromptu death metal segment thrown in that peaked like a mother fucker. If I had more of this death and grindcore style earlier in the record I would have enjoyed it much more. The real special moments are when he goes full wet guttural, it’s outrageous. Huge props go to the vocalist for their dynamics but also for their general timing and lyricism.

It’s not always balls to the wall heavy, there are some atmospherics but usually the vocalist is still going ham over the top of them. I enjoy these accentuations. The death metal stuff combined with the atmospherics should have been more prominent and replaced my major gripe for the album… those bloody dissonant chords! They are being overused these days and they’ve lost their charm for me since being blown away by Chamber in 2018. This is a fairly straight forward style of hardcore so it’s abundance was a bit grinding, compared to something like mathcore where it’s a part of an audio jungle consisting of anything from jazz to emo and skramz. This is primarily hardcore and metalcore with too much dissonance at points. If the melody was more mixed in with the heavy then I might consider it more mathy but I honestly think of The Number Twelve, Dillinger and Rolo Tomassi when I think of math. This is different but fantastic in it’s own right.

156/Silence: Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Apart from that, and the fact that the first three tracks could have been tacked onto the end, this is an enjoyable album that did a lot for me. It entices that body movement and air drumming I so much enjoy doing. The mixing and production is top notch, Andy Nelson at Bricktop Recording and Brad Boatright at Audiosiege really nailed it. The quality is very high and crisp but the utter chaos is maintained. The bass really fucking pops out at you on tracks like “Irrational Pull”. Another highlight for me, I love the lyrics and the story telling vocal styles that alternate between screaming and speaking. 

I was initially going to give this a lower score for the parts that I thought could have been so much better but ultimately the things that make this album so great outweigh that. By pushing further into metal territory I think they’ve really cottoned onto something that I want to experience more of. I listened to it a lot and I really enjoyed every listen. This is sure to be a hardcore hit in 2020 and I’d recommend picking up a copy June 5th, on Bandcamp day no less.


156/Silence are featured in my new Metalcore & Hardcore playlist full of sweet picks from 2018/2019/2020

Why don’t these embed anymore? 🙁 wordpress

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