If ever a band encapsulates the “triumph over adversity” ethos, then it is surely Year Of The Knife. While out on tour, the band were involved in a serious traffic accident that resulted in numerous broken bones and countless scars, both physical and mental. As the band recover, a brave decision was made to put out their latest album, No Love Lost, a prophetic album that captures the band at their blistering best and finds them rising phoenix-like towards the light.
Some music was meant to be perfunctory, and no more so that Year Of The Knife’s hardcore/death metal mash-up. Featuring nine succinct songs in twenty windswept minutes makes No Love Lost a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type affair. As you’d expect from a limited running time, there’s not a single second wasted here, everything is boiled down into its purest form and subsequently, it’s all the more powerful as a result. The band don’t use two notes when one will suffice, and that makes every note count. Opening track ‘Sometimes’ is a prime example, and the chugging riff that makes its introduction rolls in as if on tank tracks. Madison Watkins’ vocals are suitably caustic and could corrode armour plating whilst the rhythm section combine to ensure that every note hits the solar plexus, and with some force.
Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Nails, Code Orange), No Love Lost benefits from a wide, expansive production that gives all the instruments room to breathe. All too often aggressive music can sound cluttered and constrained, but this album gives the band room to really swing their punches, and it hits all the harder as a result. As you’d expect from such an economical listen, there’s some serious rationing going on, guitar solos and the like only appear sporadically, but that only makes their showing all the more precious. It is only the title (and closing) track which breaks the three minute mark, and it makes for a crushing conclusion, it’s good to hear the band finally spreading their wings, but even here things never feel forced and never have hardcore and death metal been fused with such veracity than that with what Year Of The Knife display here.
There’s so much musical aggression packed into these twenty minutes that one listen is never going to be enough, but as No Love Lost is such a great album, that’s no real hardship.
- Mourning The Living
- Last Laugh
- Your Control
- Heaven Denied
- Return The Agony
- No Love Lost