Out of the frigid north of Sweden comes metalcore five-piece BENEATH MY FEET with their latest full-length album In Parts, Together. The band mix chugging metal riffs with emotional hardcore screaming and soaring clean vocal hooks – and if you think we’ve just described every metalcore band ever, you’d be right. So BENEATH MY FEET‘s sound is far from distinct, but the question that will be most important to fans of the genre is: can they pen a good breakdown? The short answer is yes, and the record’s 13 tracks have plenty of them. But does the quintet bring anything other than some nasty chugging to the table?
Opening track and lead single Caught In A Hurricane wastes no time demonstrating the band’s sound, kicking straight in with some beefy chugging riffs and a chopped-and-screwed vocal line that harkens back to the 2009 crabcore scene. The chorus soars with optimism but the breakdown at the tail end of the track lets it down with some starkly unpoetic lyrics. Dig My Grave is a stronger effort, with the down-tuned guitars working more in tandem with the frenetic drumming to make for a solid metalcore banger. It’s no Doomsday, but it works. The solid work continues on When Worlds Collide, which features some strong BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE vibes in the chorus and some tasty descending guitar licks in the backend.
Dead Equal and One More Time dial up the anger, as the lyrics incorporate some vaguely political themes. The ARCHITECTS influence runs strong through these tracks, but unfortunately BENEATH MY FEET’s protest tracks have too little to say and are among the least sonically engaging on the record.
In the album’s second half the band begin to experiment with some different sounds, adding some refreshing variety to proceedings. Is This Really You taps into the angst of a failed relationship with a suitably emotive chorus. One of the more melodically-inclined songs on the record, one could see this track being a modest radio hit. The band take a breather at the halfway point with the ballad Far From Home. Trying its best to tug on the listener’s heartstrings, the vocals are a little too bland to inspire much feeling.
The Swedish rockers embrace electronics on STILL REMAINS-esque track The Uprising, making for an unexpected highlight. The bouncy synths combine effectively with the more upbeat riffs, while the interplay between the screams and cleans is more dynamic than other tracks. It’s not quite ELECTRIC CALLBOY, but it’s a damn enjoyable song. Departure is a sombre, yet slightly more nuanced track, featuring some lovely atmospheric guitar melodies that elevate it above the other slow tracks. We’re even treated to some surprisingly pretty horns and piano sections in the outro, making for a welcome respite from the brutality.
The band go all out on closer Lost Sailors Grave, with some groovy riffs and manic drum work. The lyrics are almost charmingly rote, featuring references to ships sinking amongst a grab-bag of early-2000s metalcore clichés. The generic lyrics work in its favour however, as the track’s throwback feeling is sure to inspire nostalgia in anyone who grew up on the likes of ASKING ALEXANDRIA and their contemporaries.
As a whole, In Parts, Together is a fairly unremarkable metalcore album but some odd moments of brilliance make it a worthwhile endeavour for genre enthusiasts. The backend of the album sees the band play with some more varied textures, making the final stretch a pleasant surprise.
In Parts, Together is set for release on January 13th via Noble Demon.
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