Homewrecker has always been about elevating their foundation. Always trying to take tried and true, moshpit catered listening experiences to the next level. On their debut album Worms and Dirt, there was a salad of influences. Pulling from Obituary, Morbid Angel, Merauder and old Hatebreed and integrating that into the same song structures of their contemporaries Disgrace and Full of Hell, they created a playground of sorts. Homewrecker found themselves harnessing the tools these bands used to achieve explosive climaxes and they put the pedal to the metal. On a whim, they could flip-flop between blistering death metal sections with blast beats to straight up beatdown mosh warrior sections. They managed to up the ante on the concept of the breakdown itself. Entire songs ebbing and flowing into singular explosive moments. Since Worms and Dirt, their songwriting vehicle had no problems traversing the previously uncharted areas between hardcore and death metal. This was enunciated by their follow up releases, Circle of Death and the Extinction by Design EP, however, they lost a bit of magic they had in their debut. Instead of the sporadic songwriting that made the hooks feel organic, they became more focused. Opting to entrench their ideas more in the death metal camp, but only a marginal amount. Absolutely not a deal breaker, but not continuing the trend set by the unquestionable classic that is Worms and Dirt. Just fantastic servings of the hardcore-death metal hybrid that they’ve branded.
So where does that leave their third full-length effort Hell is Here Now? In a surprisingly great spot. Hell is Here Now manages to backtrack a little bit on the more meticulous ethos of Circle of Death and plays it a little looser. As well, it updates its list of influences to include Devourment and sometimes even Dying Fetus. A natural fit for the band, as they may have been steering away from their hardcore roots for quite some time, they continue to trace the same ethos that got them here today through a fresher death metal lens. Delivering on their promise album to album to just be THE HEAVIEST fucking band in their scene, they tap some primal sounding slams and caveman death metal riffs in addition to the ingredients we’ve been served before.
This is also the first time they’ve had the vocals at the forefront. They’ve never been strangers to trading off vocal lines between members and doing some ungodly things with their voices but here they’re reaching for the next level. Between the members’ angular attack they range from the raspiest thrash metal vocals to visceral old school death metal vocals like Autopsy and Unleashed. Homewrecker could write a clinic on old school harsh vocal styles in metal.
Ultimately, Homewrecker is doing what they do best and they pull no punches. Interludes and quieter moments only serve to make you remember how hard they can come down on a riff or breakdown. Each track never retreating from its moment to sound absolutely pummeling. Few bands can sound so congruent with so many varying styles and have such a calculated authenticity. The band’s proud display of their influences is never a mark against them, as the songs they construct are otherworldly in their dynamics. They always manage to come at their songs from all angles and wherever they are coming from in any given moment comes off as brash and organic. You can hear the love poured over these songs even though they’re caked in a sinister and visceral listening experience. A true monster of an album. Gym playlists and mosh warriors rejoice.