“What’s in a name?” Juliet asks in Act 2, Scene 2, of Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare’s seminal tale of the dangers of reckless love, questioning the value of any particular piece of nomenclature. Although the exploration of language is certainly welcome, the question goes unanswered, and we’re left wondering: what is in a name? Names certainly have a power, and every word evokes a slightly different image.
Although an album by any other name would certainly sound as sweet, it’s definitely true that the name can conjure up an image that works within the confines of a release. To use examples from this year, Good Tiger’s debut A Head Full Of Moonlight has a shining aura of hope to the music that goes well with the slightly poetic and optimistic album title, whereas Fit For An Autopsy’s nihilistic deathcore release Absolute Hope Absolute Hell certainly has a fittingly grim and depressing name. It may not have any actual effect on the music, but an album title can, if given the chance, say a surprisingly large amount about the release’s content.
Weeping Birth certainly chose a fitting title for The Crushed Harmony. This album’s fusion of black metal and technical death metal is a fiery mixture that shows a band on the warpath, ready to obliterate whatever stands in their path: song titles like “Meant To Be Wrecked” and “Resurrection of Resentment” provide apt descriptions of the hate and vitriol emotionally contained within, and the music matches the ferocious intensity of the atmosphere. The release is a half-hour of chaos, nine tracks of top-notch blackened techdeath that are as caustic and malignant as they are enjoyable. The twin guitar attack is great; the leads pulse with a demonic life of their own and dance atop the fantastic foundation laid by the rhythms. The drumwork is strong and constantly in-your-face, blasting the way through each track by pulverizing whatever stands in its way, and the bass lurks and slinks along at an appropriately fast pace. Atop it all, the vocals rain acid onto each track, and what the performance lacks in diversity it makes up for in straightforward vitriol. Every song, although built from the same key components, works in a slightly different way, creating an album that is diverse and cohesive in equal measures. The Crushed Harmony is driven by tracks that are well-written, in spite of not straying far from the beaten path; The approach is equal parts Behemoth and Soreption, alchemically fusing elements of both into a combination that makes up for its lack of subtlety with a whole lot of intensity and anger.
Even though this is only the third release from Weeping Birth in a 15-year-and-counting lifespan, The Crushed Harmony displays a band that writes vigorous material to match the greats in their respective subgenres. They know their footing well, and use the tools at their disposal to fantastic effect, making some of the most crushingly heavy music this side of Wormed. A record for the history books, this album fuses all of the best elements of extreme metal into a potpourri of power.
Weeping Birth – The Crushed Harmony gets…