The Poison Written - Devices Review
by Mark Hensch
Lynchburg, Virginia's The Poison Written possesses the wrath of God. On Devices, the band's new EP for upstart metalcore label Lakeview Records, TPW throws down with a righteous fury straight out of Revelations.
Musically speaking, Devices is just as apocalyptic. Over the course of its vigorous six songs, this EP spits forth a fire-and-brimstone sermon that would fit in almost any denomination of the heavy. The musicianship typically slams with the ruthless efficiency of Lamb of God, while elements of angelic melody hover over the proceedings like recent Underoath. Throw in the militant Christianity of Zao, and the end result is a band easily more lion than lamb, yet with elements of both.
No song better expresses this dichotomy than opening cut "Sleepwalker." A choir of soft, mournful singing floats in on dreamy chord progressions. As the drums slowly work themselves up into explosive hysterics, a bone-crushing breakdown comes swinging for the fences, or, alternatively, one's face. Things close out with a sparse piano melody, as breathless as it is beautiful.
"From Midnight 'til Morning" is next, its mathematical chugs still exuding a fine sense of melody. Catchy but cataclysmic, "Midnight" stomps with riffs straight from At the Gates and hypnotic percussion played almost entirely in different rhythms. Dripping with catharsis, the song works into frenzy before stabbing with an ethereal guitar solo that is immensely soothing.
EP highlight "Caskets Concealing Empires" is everything great about the hardcore genre and its metalcore offshoot. This is straight violence, a thrashy call-to-arms with abrasive roars and moments of tentative singing swallowed by the consuming fury of anger.
"Not Always Roses" swings with jaunty metalcore chock full of cutting melodies, all while displaying legitimate technicality. The breakdowns echo with ringing harmonics, the likes of which could just as easily knocked teeth out back on Lamb of God's most recent effort Sacrament.
"And Hell Sang to Us" grooves with lacerating guitar runs before sinking into an angular chorus. Said chorus at first appears a tad hokey, but upon further reflection reveals itself as a decent interlude worthy of newer Trivium. If that does not float one's boat, check out the massive breakdown later on, as that should sink it and end the f*cking discussion.
Last but not least, "City of Lights" slams with one last helping of brutality. Two-stepping rhythms zoom by before launching into a squealing breakdown. A soft respite is offered via the climatic middle-portion, the likes of which ends in a breakdown as gripping yet brutal as the best of Unearth's catalog.
Poignant but powerful, The Poison Written is an exciting band with not just unrelenting faith in their religion but also in themselves. Devices is a confident, well-crafted EP, the likes of which is nothing short of divine. Track this down.
The Poison Written's Devices
From Midnight 'til Morning
Caskets Concealing Empires
Not Always Roses
And Hell Sang to Us
City of Lights
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The Poison Written - Devices
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