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Album review: To Kill Achilles – Something To Remember Me By

Scottish alt.metalcore crew To Kill Achilles leave their mark with an excellent, aptly-titled concept album for our times…

There’s plenty to rage about nowadays, but so ubiquitous is hoarse-throated vitriol that it can begin to sound like washed-out white noise at a point. Catchily-named Dundee quintet To Kill Achilles, however, elevate their personal heartache into an intricate, shapeshifting narrative on second album Something To Remember Me By, delivering a statement that feels critically urgent while lingering long in the memory.

Picking up on an unnamed protagonists 25th birthday and charting his 12-month descent into a suicidal abyss, it is a concept album model that has been experimented with before, but rarely managing as much emotional dexterity and unfiltered anguish as across these 14 songs.

Opening with the unhinged aggro of fourpercent, there’s an obvious debt to the heavy hitters of metalcore’s (excellent) current crop like Being As An Ocean, Counterparts, While She Sleeps and heavier-end Bring Me The Horizon. As the record opens out with In Vain, Luna Et Altum and Oh God, I’ve Never Felt This Low, though, a more detailed sense of melody and meaning, and lighter-footed post-hardcore energy begin to shine through.

Perhaps most significantly, these less crowded song-structured allow frontman Mark Tindal to clearly enunciate his complex ideas, inviting favourable comparison to Touché Amorés Jeremy Bolm as he spirals through Agnostic, On My Mind and There’s No Right Way to Say This… Crucially, it’s never a case of empty imitation, and the heavier moments of songs like When You Live With Ghosts, You Don’t See The Dead and We Only Exist When We Exist Together resonate with singular power. 

The descent into darkness is complete with a remarkable final triptych. The bittersweet reminisces and pounding grief of Beautiful Mourning crash in waves. 21:36 opens with an almost MCR-esque guitar line but veers into chest-tightening hardcore panic rather than emo excess. Then the closing title-track dares to evoke Nirvanas legendary Nevermind bookend Something In The Way, just about pulling it off through sheer bleakness and courage of conviction.

It’s a harrowing statement of artistic intent from a band with the intelligence and authenticity to plot their own course to the very top. Something to remember them by, indeed.

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Defeater, Touché Amoré, Your Demise

Something To Remember Me By is out now via Arising Empire.

READ THIS: 10 metalcore/deathcore bands you probably don’t remember

Posted on February 5th 2021, 11:34a.m.
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