Reviews

Thirty Nights of Violence, You'll See Me Up There (Unbeaten Records, 2020)

The first time this Nashville-based metallic hardcore unit Thirty Nights of Violence pinged my radar was in 2018. On the strength of that year’s debut EP, To Die in Your Portrait, the Tennessee technicians can lay claim to helping turn fertile grounds into a veritable stranglehold on metallic hardcore.

Set to drop later this month, You’ll See Me Up There is Thirty Nights of Violence's follow-up EP. The 6-track offering is replete with their signature savagery, and is a thrilling and dynamic beast. 

Also in tact is the group’s mechanized rumble and blunt force trauma of fearsome riffs, but they’ve returned with a readily apparent maturity. The most sizable of leaps isn’t just in the refined playing but the ambition from which they’re operating. There’s no premium on adventurous sonics here and even less placed on their trademark brutality.

Much like their patiently sadistic moniker, the band dishes out sustained helpings of vicious hardcore with a surgical precision. Bolstered by a clearly defined aesthetic sensibility that eschews tradition and a spirit of true collaboration, the fearsome collective looks to devastate once the world opens back up. Alongside contemporaries like Orthodox, Chamber, Vatican, Typecaste, and Roseblood; Thirty Nights of Violence clearly leveled up and are poised for whatever’s next. 

“Lost In Your Light” pummels from the opening moments. Arriving at an already elevated heartbeat, they open with mid-song flare, managing flurries of blast beats and panic chords before the listener can settle in. Pulling from a seemingly bottomless well of guitar riffs, the halfway mark devolves into a mess of audio sample and ambient disquiet. It momentarily bubbles atop an organic breakbeat before kicking back in at 2:00.

The fleeting passage of calms marks the first of many shows of dynamic range and, when the beating resumes it’s in utterly exhilarating fashion. Of their many strong suits, the shared vocals is perhaps their sharpest and most rewarding. As 4 of the 5 band members take their moments behind the mic, the songs often feel like wildly varied vignettes of nihilism and catharsis. The final passage is crushing, as the lyrics only increase in their jarring intensity. 

Photo: Joseph Wasileski

Poetics being what they are, “In Vein” tackles addiction in thrashing fashion, bulldozing its way through breakdowns and furious drumming. The open of the song is, dare I say, triumphant, showcasing a sterling guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a trad metal album or early Killswitch Engage. Before long, we’re knee deep again in metalcore that calls to mind early Converge, Botch, and Poison the Well.

The fleeting passage of calms marks the first of many shows of dynamic range and, when the beating resumes it’s in utterly exhilarating fashion. Of their many strong suits, the shared vocals is perhaps their sharpest and most rewarding. As 4 of the 5 band members take their moments behind the mic, the songs often feel like wildly varied vignettes of nihilism and catharsis. The final passage is crushing, as the lyrics only increase in their jarring intensity. 

Poetics being what they are, “In Vein” tackles addiction in thrashing fashion, bulldozing its way through breakdowns and furious drumming. The open of the song is, dare I say, triumphant, showcasing a sterling guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a trad metal album or early Killswitch Engage. Before long, we’re knee deep again in metalcore that calls to mind early Converge, Botch, and Poison the Well.

As if designed as separate and punishing chapters, the final act is a vocal turn that sounds like it’s been newly exhumed from a black metal crypt. This same flourish is again expertly employed in the following track “Shattered Glass.” For a song that so brazenly addresses sexuality, it’s a masterclass on how to properly update early 2000s metalcore.

Here they highlight a “stop on a dime” aesthetic that never descends into showiness. Instead it bends and and snaps like the best moments of “We Are The Romans” reimagined as modern and thrashy hardcore. They even manage to rip a note perfect guitar solo that’d render the entire New Wave of American Heavy Metal envious. Even when exploring Guitar Hero histrionics or the plaintive acoustic passage at the song unravels, it’s all in service to the song. It’s the first exhaustingly perfect song in their canon. 

It doesn’t take long to hear the next one. Closer “Marbled Regression” was, in fact, the lead single and got the video treatment (seen below). Though I'd rarely recommend a music video in 2020, the Joseph Wasileski directed clip is an essential part of the band's overall presentation. Aesthetically and visually, I get heavy Refused vibes and touches of Code Orange, who recently recruited the band's drummer for sessions and tours.

I'm still entertained by the fact that it features a doppelganger for Joe Keery, the actor who plays the character of Steve "The Hair" Harrington on Stranger Things. Fuck, there's clearly no stranger thing than the warped reaity that is 2020. Despite my overall lack of interest in the ever-evolving hardcore uniform, the folks in Thirty Nights of Violence look anything but and I'm absolutely here for it.

Boldly flying their collective freak flag, the members' sure as shit don't look like anyone else. That same sense of adventure is on display throughout the final song's runtime. Per usual, they kick things off spitting vocal venom and stacking superlative metallic hardcore riffs on top of each other. Yet, the final couple of minutes are shockingly far afield even for them. It exudes both confidence and a willingness to go wherever they please.

There's a brief segue into something that even flirts with progressive metal before the end collapses in on itself. Ending in brutal fashion, it's imminently replayable. I'll gladly wait another thirty nights if that gets me closer to seeing them tour this material. It's a standout during a standstill. Pay attention. 

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Tagged: thirty nights of violence

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