For some bands, creating technical, shape-shifting rhythms or a crushingly heavy racket isn’t enough. They have something to say and too many stories to tell. Or they’ve been shaped by such core-shaking experiences that simply expressing their trauma and anger via a torrent of bruising riffs isn’t going to cut it. That’s certainly the case for Lincoln techdeath warriors Borders.
“I’ve always wanted a band that aspired to do something, get up off their arses and get their message out there to people,” explains vocalist Jordan “JJ” Olifent. “Borders are great at that.”
The band recently released four-track EP Diagnosed, a new chapter for the band and their first release since JJ took over vocals in 2015. In that time, the frontman has made one hell of a mark. The EP is a visceral combination of brutal Architects-meets-Heart Of A Coward beatdowns, sinister djent-tech ambience and chugging deathcore-inspired riffery, but it’s made all the more weighty by JJ’s core message and his hard-hitting lyrics which come from a deep, dark place.
“The reason I wrote this EP is because my mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2011,” says JJ. “She had three months to live but basically through natural principles and not going down the medical route, she went from sitting down with me and saying her goodbyes pretty much, to three months later having the scan and is now 100% cancer free. It’s the pharmaceutical companies and the treatments they’re providing that are the things that are damaging people. There’s a bigger thing going on and it’s ‘wealth over heath’. They’re more concerned about the profits rather than people’s cancer.”
At its raging core, Diagnosed is a deeply critical attack on the billion-dollar corporate industry, Big Pharma, and a scathing rejection of the status quo: human reliance on a self-serving medical system, sustained by a corrupt mass media. The track Indoctrinated contains the lyrics: ‘Four walls caving in, creating the coffin fit to fit your sin. Indoctrinated, a dying patient. Where there’s a will there’s a way, I will break these chains.’ Elsewhere, single Comatosed, which premiered on the Hammer website, is concerned with dangerous bias and hidden agendas in the media: ‘Destroy and divide, you will not conquer (the nation’s heart), you will merely change the minds of the weak ones.’
“The lyrics are about aspiring to think outside the box,” explains JJ. “It’s all about us fighting back… about how you should always research into things, think about what’s right for you and not what people are telling you to do. There’s a better place – we just need to stop being so dumbed down. We are not puppets – we are people.”
SOUNDS LIKE: Meaty, juggernaut metal that will make you think
FOR FANS OF: Architects, Heart Of A Coward, Within The Ruins
LISTEN TO: Comatosed
DIAGNOSED IS OUT NOW