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Heart of a Coward - Deliverance

Heart of a Coward
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 05 November 2015, 5:55 AM

HEART OF A COWARD singer Jamie Graham has been doing all right for himself since leaving SYLOSIS behind. A killer second album led to tours with MACHINE HEAD, slots at Download and a headline appearance at Tech Fest, all while managing to avoid easy comparisons with his former group. While "Severance" saw him and his band mates climb the ladder however, the pressure is really on with "Deliverance." This is their chance to step it up a notch and prove they deserve the spotlight.

The studio execs must have breathed a sigh of relief when they first heard this album then because "Deliverance" is great. It doesn’t stray very far from the template they set with their first two records but what they have done is sharpen their Djenty-Metalcore and improve their song writing, delivering a clutch of terrific songs in the process. Lead single "Hollow" for instance is a bruising introduction, boasting stomping breakdowns, machinegun riffs and a chorus that KILLSWITCH ENGAGE would kill for. "Turmoil II – The Weak Shall Inherit The Earth" meanwhile is a pit-inducing slice of antagonism. It comes complete with a big multi-vocal sing-a-long and isn’t too far from the optimistic likes of STICK TO YOUR GUNS, albeit with a slightly Proggy touch.

These aren’t the only stand outs however and the first half of "Deliverance" is packed with big tunes. "Miscreation," "Anti-Life" and "Grain Of Sand" are all polished, confident and well-executed so picking a favourite is tough. Things do slow down a bit in the latter half as a few energy-sapping choruses reduce the momentum, but it all picks up again for the closing "Skeletal." This two-part finale starts with the introspective machismo of "Skeletal I – Mourning Repairs" before calming down significantly in "Skeletal II – Arise." Both halves are equally impressive and after the speakers go quiet, it’s hard not to find yourself humming the main melody over and over again.

It’s all looking up for HEART OF A COWARD then and with any luck, this should finally see them step out of the shadow cast by Graham’s former bandmates. A few of the lyrics are a bit cringe worthy but there’s only a small amount of filler and while it’s undeniably modern, it also recalls the glory days of Metalcore. Listening to this is like hearing SHADOWS FALL before they started to wind down, UNEARTH before they got predictable and AS I LAY DYING before…well, you know. If all is right in the world, HEART OF A COWARD are about to make a lot of new friends.

4 Star Rating

1. Hollow
2. Miscreation
3. Turmoil I – Wolves
4. Turmoil II – The Weak Inherit The Earth
5. Anti-Life
6. Grain Of Sand
7. Mouth Of Madness
8. Deliverance
9. Skeletal I – Mourning Repairs
10. Skeletal II - Arise
Jamie Graham – Vocals
Carl Ayers – Guitars
Steve Haycock – Guitars
Vishal ‘V’ Khetia – Bass
Christopher ‘Noddy’ Mansbridge - Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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