No Honor Among Thieves and ‘Visions’ Overdue.
For our previous work on the band – Click Here.
It’s been quite some time since Connecticut heavies No Honor Among Thieves have graced us with their chaotic and progressive Hardcore. Above you can find a link to the very single that broke the silence that had enveloped the band since 2014’s debut EP, Prayers.
The band have an obvious penchant for the heavy and the progressive and with the time that has elapsed since the inception of their debut, the core elements of Punk, Hardcore and Metal that produced such sonic chaos in the first place have been for lack of a better word, lovingly honed.
With the first two blasts of rage, ‘Mourning’ and ‘Mirrors’ the thudding Metallic Hardcore set to Post-Hardcore structures is the basis of your first impression and as it alternates between traditional Hardcore speed and its latter Metal inclined riffs and rhythms. You are in no way allowed to rest as the bed is made and you must lie in it.
‘Flash Flood Redemption’ maybe more stylistically pleasing but it is still just as teasing. In a progressive-Hardcore/Post-Hardcore manner, NHAT switch stylistics and time signatures so many times per song that you have no idea what is going to come next and that can be taken both negatively and positively depending on where you stand.
‘Moments’ takes this more traditional Punk and Hardcore sound further with an incredibly satisfying contrast between said traditional rhythms and a soaring (yet slightly subdued) melodic guitar-line that really suits the band and boasts one of the best on the release.
‘The Passing’ is an interlude and a time of reflection over this viscerally aggressive album. Its is here in this brief and classic move by the band, that their chaotic and sporadically coherent sound makes all the more sense, as the weight of the lyrics hit you with very robust and heavy shovel to the back of the head.
We’ve seen ‘Depths’ before as the lead single of the album. The track very much took the notable parts from the Prayers EP and began to tread the new ground Visions as a whole is itself trying to trail-blaze.
‘Dissemble’ much like the rest of the album, has a lot going on and you find it hard to focus on where the music is going. The faster more traditional Punk and Hardcore sections are very placed and contrast well to the Post-Hardcore and Mathcore-esque precision. You cannot fault the band for their technical ability but at times the constant battle of timing can feel wearing with the cloudy recording sadly taking away a lot of deserved credit.
Lyrically speaking ‘Dissemble’ is still very much on-point in its tones of social revolution and leads well into another single, ‘Wounds’.
‘Wounds’ takes the tempo the band seem to be leaning towards, allowing the subdued lead to poke through slightly more. The clarity is less of an issue here as you feel the sound of an old-school Hardcore record or live recording. Again I feel myself focusing on the lyrical conviction where No Honor Among Thieves prove themselves really very quotable once more.
‘Waves’ is another rest-bite from the intensity of Visions before the title track of the release boasts strong riffs from the distorted bass and again, very well done melodic contrasts. ‘Visions’ boasts the individual strength of each member, but for a studio recoding is off balance despite the aforementioned merits.
‘Still Life’ is by far the best on the release despite a step down in the intensity. The lead guitar and bass work of this latter track is perhaps the most memorable on the release, despite it sitting in relative simplicity.
‘Grieving’ is very much a track less memorable, the slower tempo is something that the band should certainly consider more of further down the line but the track simply fits its purpose as filler before a rehash of ‘Bifurcations’ from the Prayers EP.
This revisited track shows a band still affectionate to their roots and depicts where it very much all began. ‘Bifurcations’ closes a hampered record but a record that is still testament to itself and to those who have made it via the struggle of the underground music scene.
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