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From the very start Truth And Its Burden’s latest album “I Labour” carries with it a clear mission statement of optimism and self-empowerment. While that in itself does occur all over the genre, Truth And Its Burden are more fixated on the idea than most. A message of hope delivered in a hardcore context results in ten tracks filled with conflict and relentless encouragement as they address adversity, depression and other personal struggles time and time again. While they describe themselves as melodic hardcore songs tend to veer more towards one side of the genre tan the other.
The band’s choice of vocal style is also very apparent from the start. With tracks such as ‘Dead To The World’ vocalist Ashley De Beer offers up a melodic chorus that would fit easily into hardcore punk with an approach that focuses on timbre more than cleanliness. Instead, the lead guitar will generally add a few lines underneath for melodic support. With this arrangement the band has formed an interesting symbiosis between these aggressive and musical elements.
At other times the scale tips more towards one end of the spectrum. ‘Regain Composure’ is two minutes dedicated to the punk rhythm inspirations of hardcore. ‘Fortified’ is one of the strangest tracks that focuses more on the melodic side, building to a catchy chorus but ending soon after. Coming in at a short two and a half minutes these shorter tracks can feel half done, as if slightly too many ideas have been squeezed into a short span of time.
A cleaner vocal emerges later on in ‘I Labour’ to shift the balance of elements again. The result is the highlight of the album ‘Iron and Fire’. It breaks free from conventional melodic hardcore and sees the band toying with fresh ideas. Sincerity is always to peg down but this song has it in abundance with everything from the message to instrumentation coming across crystal clear. ‘Weightless’ is a close second in this regard. They take advantage of its four minute runtime to explore a spectrum of sound and establish a noticeable sense of narrative. Overall this is where Truth And Its Burden set themselves apart.
‘I Labour’ is a varied album that allows Truth And Its Burden to explore several different aspects of their music. The longer tracks in particular stand out for their originality while the shorter ones will undoubtedly please fans of hardcore and metal.
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Listen to “I Labour” below.