I’m not experienced enough with the London metalcore/hardcore scene to speak TOO much on the subject. Hell, in the contact section, we request that you direct any review inquiries to the attention of the writer that would be of most relevance in that regard. However, our resident Brit Chris has been busy recently with personal type stuff (job interviews, fuck yeah), so this review fell right back up into my lap. Thems the breaks, I suppose. I’ll try to be the cheeky English fellow for today.
Shirukume is an experimental metalcore band hailing from Worcestershire, United Kingdom. Worcestershire? That sounds like a fake name someone would make up on TV, like “Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen”.
A town in the United Kingdom
Shirukume are influenced by the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and fellow countrymen Sikth, the latter in which is most obvious, with the harsh vocals taking on a throaty Mikee Goodman-like quality. In their more heavy moments, the guitars jump around in a frenzy of mathcore rhythms and dissonance. Shirukume try to counter-balance this hardcore sound with melodic elements, giving their sound an air of experimentation.
Right from the get go, it’s obvious that Shirukume has an excellent take on Sikth’s sound. Frantic mathcore riffs are definitely their strong point. Sadly, their attempts at melodic and experimental elements can, at times, be detrimental. For example, one melodic section from “The Lighthouse Keeper” breaks up the action, being sandwiched between passages of pummeling drums and hard-as-nails riffing. There’s also an ill-advised use of autotune throughout the EP. While I’m sure it’s used for effect and not for any sort of gimmick or crutch, it is something I’m against in principal. It’s not terrible, as the effect makes sense in context, but autotune has been overdone at this point. The production on the album also has some misfires as the bass drum sits a little too high in the mix and gets distracting at times, especially in bursts of double bass. However, I commend them in making a home recording sound this good. Using clean and experimental sections in hardcore is a brilliant idea, but in Speaking in Colours, they could use some better execution.
I may be making a big fuss over every flaw, but don’t get me wrong. This EP is definitely fun! Everything else on Speaking In Colours sounds great. The use of synth in the EP’s finale “The Escape Artist” is a nice touch, adding a lively texture to make the song that much more memorable. “A Pocket Full Of Glass” is a brilliant and catchy song, showcasing Shirukume’s best use of clean vocals and progressive influences, and the first half of “The Lighthouse Keeper” features some of the best mathcore I’ve heard in quite some time.
Shirukume are all around a good band. To become great, in my opinion, is improved songwriting and execution. This is a band I’ll keep my eye on in the future, as they definitely have potential.
Shirukume – Speaking in Colours gets