Following up a debut album is always hard; following up one of the best debut albums in recent years will always prove a greater challenge. Luckily Heart of A Coward have done exactly that on their second album “Severance” which is a great follow-up to their debut “Hope and Hindrance.”
The album takes the template of heavy metalcore breakdowns mixed with djent-like Meshuggah riffage established in the bands 2012 debut album and turns it up to eleven. The riffs seem like they’re taking a sledgehammer to your ears during the albums opening track of ‘Monstro’ which is not too similar to tracks from “Hope and Hindrance” with its crushing down tuned riffs and punishing breakdown. It’s track two ‘Prey’ that nails the overall tone of “Severance,” which happens to be balancing bastardly heavy riffs whilst also having accessible, whilst not sounding whiny, clean choruses.
The addition of added clean choruses manages to lift the album from being just another album of endless breakdowns, adding a lot more diversity to the album and bring out the individual songs. In doing this, vocalist Jamie Graham proves he’s more than just your typical hardcore shouter and emerges as a powerful frontman who is more than capable of pulling off a Jesse Leach-esque chorus with ease.
The album doesn’t skimp on breakdowns either, the track ‘Deadweight’ has one of their most crushing to date that feels as if the world is crumbling around you and once you hear it live it will be more than likely true that the venue has crumbled into dust around you.
“Severance” is exactly what you want a band to do on their second album, improve on what they delivered on the debut as well as add something fresh to their sound. Heart of A Coward have certainly nailed their own sound on this album, a great blend of punishing riffs and breakdowns mixed with great songs with no doubt these tracks will sound absolutely killer live.
Heart Of A Coward are about to hit the road on a UK with support from The Charm The Fury and Malevolence. Catch them at the following dates:
11.11.2013 Birmingham – Asylum 2
12.11.2013 Southampton – Joiners
13.11.2013 Cardiff – Full Moon
14.11.2013 London – Barfly
15.11.2013 Milton Keynes – Craufurd
16.11.2013 Sheffield – Corporation
17.11.2013 Manchester – Alter Ego
18.11.2013 Glasgow – Classic Grand
19.11.2013 Leeds – Cockpit 3
20.11.2013 Nottingham – Rock City Basement
21.11.2013 Norwich – Upstairs @ Waterfront