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Headbore - The Grey

The Grey
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 02 March 2017, 8:56 AM

With just about enough toughness they will prevail. Deep within a grey cloud of uncertainty, yet in a scene that time and time again maintained its stance as vast and interesting, the Aussie chaps of HEADBORE, aspire to lift their heads in the underground. While not ascertained as the next thing in line for Modern Death / Groove Metal, I was fortunate to note that they can do it and even turn a few tables here and there. Coming forward with their sophomore album, “The Grey”, signed to the local Truth Inc. Records, which seems quite natural, HEADBORE are on their way beyond the veil of the grey they feel so attached to.

There are times when I think that the essence of what transpires as Groove Metal, or basically another sub-wave of Modern Metal (which is not Nu Metal god forbid), can be a bit dull with its riff oriented compositions that repeat themselves. There is a pack load of examples to justify that notion, but nobody is perfect. When it comes to HEADBORE, and again they are certainly not pioneers at that, the implementation of guitar melodies and hooks, even if not in the early 90s Swede Melodic Death Metal kind of NWOBHM twin guitaring harmonies, almost did it all for them in this album. The melodic guitar leads, at several points, raise the value of the songs they were pinned on. Furthermore, the band proved neat songwriting skills on going a bit beyond the curtain of the subgenre, while also presenting several examples of crushing riffery that indicates an appreciation for contemporary Thrash and Heavy Metal. Surely there were times where I almost bit myself due to perfect moments where a slicing guitar solo could have stepped in, yet I kept myself together.

Listening to what I deemed as the band’s hits on this release, “Pending Disaster” and “Divide”, it felt like a well-made mash of early TRIVIUM with LAMB OF GOD. Without a doubt, these two songs represented the band as impressively diverse in their songwriting, willing to pierce above the expected with hook-laden melodies and decisive riffs and vocals. “Life Of Own” kept the same vibe running but in a way it was the last track that really made a difference in this album. Even so, the rest of the songs maintained a strong sense of neatly crafted melodic groove, although it appeared a little repetitive at times such as the few elements of late SEPULTURA and MACHINE HEAD stepped in songs like “Ghosts” and “Slaves”, two songs that were  quite alright but nothing to compare with their former two mentioned tracks.

In a nutshell, “The Grey” isn’t mysterious as its title, largely punishing and punching as expected of this kind of Metal wave, yet has its ultra-golden moments to base a legacy upon. I suggest keeping on tuning to these Aussies, we might be in for a sweet surprise later on.

3 Star Rating

1. Pending Disaster
2. Divide
3. The Grey
4. Awaken Life
5. Ghosts
6. Life to Own
7. Slaves
8. Legacy
9. Human Disease
10. False
Adam Fisher - Vocals
Luke Fisher - Guitar
Chris Ward - Guitar
Adam Day - Drums
Dan Sloan - Bass
Record Label: Truth Inc. Records


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