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Oathbreaker: Eros | Anteros

The black metal-hardcore alliance grows ever deeper

Belgians Oathbreaker aren’t the first to add black metal’s leitmotif to their cutting edge hardcore; its iconography and sonic imprint is increasingly seeping into a roster of young bands, with results of varying quality.

As ghostly opener Beeltenis bleeds into the blackened No Rest For The Weary, an atmosphere of intangible foreboding melds with a taut brand of frenetic riffing that owes much to the trail blazed by Converge. Thankfully, though, Oathbreaker are one of the few bands capable of more than superficial imitation of their forebears, chronicling a journey of personal loss and victory on a record that constantly keeps you guessing, from the frenzied drums and riotous leads of Upheaval and Condor Tongue to the sombre apex of their post-metal aspirations in 11-minute closer Clair Obscur.

Vocalist Caro is scarifying throughout, revealing tender fragility in the record’s quieter moments. Her every syllable drips with as much sincerity as the cacophony backing her up, making Eros | Anteros an exhilarating example of modern metal’s interbreeding.