Album Review: Penance // Bound in Fear

Whenever I see a band signed to Unique Leader Records, I feel like I know what I’m getting. Brutal, disgusting riffs are filthier than a pigsty. Bound in Fear are signed to this label and write monstrously heavy music. As evidenced by the recent single ‘Left to Drown’, they don’t disappoint. Crushing killer gutturals and a dirty guitar tone that works in the moshpit.

Bound in Fear’s music is about real life experiences. Their EP Eternal incorporated lyrics about inward emotions, substance and trauma. The dark music served as a complement to this. It is hard hitting and atmospheric. It’ll be interesting to see what Penance brings to the table.

I’ve sat with this album a few times now and it is absolutely putrid. Disgusting breakdowns mix with melodic passages, for instance, on ‘(De)scedence.’ It’s filthy because it has elements of Black Tongue. A raging opener.

This record is absolutely horrifying in the best possible way. ‘Cutthroat’ shows Ben Mason to be angry at inward trauma and wears his heart on his sleeve. I think there are some hardcore influences here, especially in the breakdown. The last song, ‘Polarity’ has a beautiful chorus as well which reminded me of Erra.

I thought the lyrics were deeply personal and you feel the inner trauma in Mason’s voice. I think that passion is really well done. However, I do think that the breakdowns, although visceral, get very repetitive across the album.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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