Since bursting onto the scene with their debut release, Unrelenting Force, it has been full steam ahead for Manchester crossover bruisers Guilt Trip. With a take-no-prisoners ethos they’ve earned a reputation as one of the UK’s brightest prospects, a standing that’s only going to be enhanced by their new long player, Severance. Featuring a dozen tracks of the very best metallic hardcore, this is one album that refuses to be ignored.
‘Fallen At My Feet’ is the name of the opening track, it comes shrouded in a ball of feedback before hitting the listener with the force of a ten-ton truck. Those lucky enough to have caught the band on their recent jaunt with Stray From The Path will have an inkling of what Severance promises, whilst the uninitiated are in for a real treat. Putting the ‘hard’ into hardcore and the ‘heavy’ into metal, Guilt Trip are a crossover band in its purest definition. Unlike some of their peers, they are not afraid to throw the odd solo into the mix, especially when it can add an extra, atmospheric layer. Of course, playing any type of crossover is a risky business, fumble the ball and a band can find themselves in a musical no-man’s-land and with no appreciable audience to play to. However, Guilt Trip prove to be master alchemists, taking the best from both genres and making a potent brew as evidenced on ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ which rolls Terror and Hatebreed into one perfect package. Yet, for those of us with only two categorisations, good and bad, Guilt Trip fall firmly in the first bracket.
Aided by a bombastic production, cuts such as ‘Sweet Dreams’ pack the requisite punch, but Guilt Trip make good use of light and shade with ethereal instrumental ‘Reaching Paradise’ adding a moment of respite inside an album that rages like a tempest. Yet, even here there’s a feeling of storm clouds gathering on the horizon, and they appear in the shape of ‘Tearing Your Life Away’. Despite their full-on sonic assault, the overarching feeling on Severance is one of hope, of finding strength in adversity, and whatever dire situation you find yourself, this album could pull you through. But that in no way negates the sheer savagery with which Guilt Trip roll and ‘The Gates’ swings like a huge wrecking ball that’s come to demolish your speakers. After 30 minutes that have left us battered and bruised, ‘Dusk’ makes for a thoughtful conclusion and acts as a soothing balm after the preceding maelstrom, yet there’s still room for an unexpected sting in the tail.
Those familiar with Manchester’s burgeoning hardcore scene will already be familiar with the name Guilt Trip, but on the strength of Severance the rest of the country is likely to cotton on too.
- Severance is released via MLVLTD on 22nd September 2023.
- Fallen At My Feet
- Surrounded By Pain
- Eyes Wide Shut
- Sweet dreams
- Reaching Paradise
- Tearing Your Life Away
- Broken Wings
- The Gates
- Hell Will Replace The Pain