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Death Remains - Destroy/ Rebuild album review

London’s metallic hardcore crew crank up the riffage

Cover art for Death Remains - Destroy/ Rebuild album

If there’s one ace Death Remains have up their sleeve to challenge the rest of the metallic hardcore brigade, it’s their adherence to the riff. Every time you expect the jagged, bouncy tone to morph into a saccharine chorus or chunky breakdown, another thrashy bit of fretboard trickery or regal run will rear its head. Not that there’s an absence of big vocal hooks or mid-paced chug to throw yourself around to, but DR’s sparsity gives them more of an impact, such as on the infectious propulsion of Endure And Survive. Hardships sees vocalist Barry O’Connor’s urgent, PMA message over a clattering of drums and fiddly guitars, sounding like Architects on Red Bull. No Trace comes out of the blocks with tech-death precision and the impassioned closer Rebuild is backed by a flurry of notes and strings. There are, however, mixed results when they slow it down on the affecting lament of Soldier and the uninspired Futile Existence. But when it’s done right, this well-trodden style can still hit the bullseye.

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.