EP Review: The Hope Burden – Decline. Despair. Decay.

Describing themselves a “post-rock through to black metal” in their pre-Bloodstock interview this/last year (depending what side of midnight you read this), The Hope Burdern thrust a copy of their three-track-plus-a-bonus-live-song EP at us around their New Blood stage performance. And only a few months later (sorry), here’s our take on it.

If I told you the first track was called “Decline”, you could probably guess the other two. True to their description, within this first 9-minute offering there is a huge mélange of styles, and for the first minute or so I wasn’t sure if I was going to click with it. Atmospheric noises and not much music set a scene, but… oh, wow. Then the song actually kicks in. Black, evil, heavy, harsh – and great. Predominantly a slower number, there are some blistering black metal-esqe sections as promised. A superb start.

“Despair” similarly starts with a lighter feel, this time some clean guitar which is eventually joined by harsh vocals forming a pairing that shouldn’t work yet somehow does. Things build and explode into a bigger sound for a while, and the hairs on the back of my next stood to attention rather rapidly. Definitely a very different track to the first, The Hope Burden prove they’re no one-trick pony.

“Decay” sits between the two both in terms of length and of style. Keeping the ethereal background tone and harsh front end, it’s hard to believe that you could actually just lie back and drift to this song despite the abrasive vocals. But you can.

Downbeat and scathing, but at the same time relaxing and trippy, Decline. Despair. Decay. is a great collection of songs and for only £1.77 on Amazon for the mp3s it’s barely even the price of a swift half!

The Hope Burden: facebook | bandcamp | youtube

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