Album review: Jesus Piece – …So Unknown

A bulldozing return from rising hardcore maulers Jesus Piece on hotly-anticipated second full-length…

Album review: Jesus Piece – …So Unknown
Olly Thomas

In what is threatening to be a new golden era for hardcore, Jesus Piece seem like elder statesmen compared to fresher-faced upstarts like GEL, Scowl or ZULU. It’s been half a decade since the Philly five-piece dropped debut album Only Self, and while we hardly need to revisit the biggest reason for delay in that period, band members have also been engaged with everything from fatherhood to modelling to playing drums for Charli XCX. On the evidence of its long-awaited sequel …So Unknown, none of this has dulled the impact of their ferocious metalcore.

Brutal but maintaining a welcome groove, opener In Constraints takes you right into the thick of it, frontman Aaron Heard’s savage vocal assault sitting atop piledriving rhythms. But Jesus Piece’s dedication to heft and fury doesn’t preclude a willingness to experiment and evolve. Tunnel Vision packs plenty into less than four minutes, dramatically changing its pace up and down and covering plenty of different modes of heaviness in the process, while Silver Lining opens with an almost post-punk feel, its dynamic shifting marginally closer to the melancholic weight of NOTHING – whose line-up used to include one Aaron Heard on bass.

This sort of attention to detail makes …So Unknown an involving listen, but emphatically doesn’t detract from the band’s primary intention of rearranging your skeletal structure through elastic, chugging riffs and neck-snapping beats. It’s a sign of the welcome diversity within the genre that hardcore can subsume all manner of different influences – in this instance, also including death metal and industrial – without alienating its diehard audience. After five years, it’s a pleasure to hear Jesus Piece ramming that point home once again.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Kublai Khan TX, Knocked Loose,

…So Unknown is released on April 14 via Century Media

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