Pennsylvanian four-piece Heartless have released four records to date and are currently making a name for themselves touring all over the U.S. and Europe. Calling themselves hardcore punk, their sound certainly has all the vitriolic fury of the pit-inciting genre.
The first track ‘Ruin’ is a discordant assault, a forceful slap in the face that while not exactly boasting the best production values in the world, certainly gives one hundred and ten percent in terms of aggression. On vocals Cory is similar to his Slipknot namesake as well as Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, while the other stand out feature of this minute-and-a-bit long onslaught is definitely Tom’s drumming. Not leaving any room for respite next track ‘Unsewn’ begins immediately, notable for a pounding rhythm and various bass breaks. ‘Vignette’ allows Tom’s drumming to continue to shine whilst also displaying prominent work from guitarist Rick. The last twenty seconds of this one are some of the messiest you will ever hear, but it nevertheless retains that raging brutality. ‘Wrung Out’ starts out in a similar way before settling down, and then firing up again. There is a distinct pause in this track, right at the half way point of the EP, wherein notes are held on the bass and guitar, the drums slow down and Cory keeps his vocals succinct. The song then fades to a conclusion, clearly indicating that this record will by no means be a non-stop affair.
‘Excess’ is fifteen seconds long, serving primarily as the precursor to the next track; ‘Mute’. This one starts out more subdued, with a driving rhythm reminiscent of Pantera and the Voivod of Killing Technology. This naturally does not last as the remorselessly quick tempo starts up again and Cory begins screaming like a mad man. Adam announces himself with a couple more bass breaks before penultimate track ‘Unhinged’ begins with some guitar riffage. Once this finishes and the track really begins it’s a case of more of the same; fast paced and raucous fury. Title track ‘Certain Death’ kicks off on a similar note, but this is noteworthy for being the longest song on the EP at nearly three minutes. Thirty seconds in the number establishes itself as more enticing than any of the previous efforts, unleashing a heavy yet steady rhythm perfect for banging ones head and allowing more tremendous drum work. There are breaks which allow the guitar to stand alone, albeit through very basic riffing, before a full breakdown in which the bass is the most prominent sound leads to a fade-out which close the whole record.
This is perfect for mindless moshing, but aesthetically the only track really worthy of praise is the last one. The rest of the EP is a violent fit of cacophonous rage that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. If you want pure aggression then this is for you, and if you want more in the way of musicianship, I’d keep looking.
This EP is currently available from http://heartless.bandcamp.com
4. Wrung Out
8. Certain Death