There aren’t a huge number of bands out there in hardcore who challenge all of the genre norms at one time. However, Amygdala do exactly that as they straddle a lot of different styles on their latest offering, Our Voices Will Soar Forever. From outright hardcore rage on opening track “Born Into Abuse” we are thrust into the band’s potent initial surge before we get introduced to the many other weapons in their arsenal. Before digging into that, though, it’s important to tackle some of the subject matter the band engages in here. This is a band who’s sonic variety is only the tip of the iceberg to the diversity they embody as people and their principles.
The band take on many of the ills of society that oppress so many people especially racism, sexism, homophobia, and the many variants of sick abuse that are thrust upon women and others. The album transcends being a simple vehicle for a screaming voice taking these things head on. Instead they utilize their sharp and varied attack on tracks such as “It Takes a Village”, “I Hate to Say It”, “BPD Versus Me”, and “I Wish Upon a Shooting Star”. All of these songs, among others, vary between punishing, often angular guitar riffs and some decidedly math-y takes on drumming to slower passages marked with droning notes or lightly picked arpeggios that allow the songs to breathe before being subsumed again by the all out assault of Bianca Quinones’ vocals.
The band deliver so much more than tortured hardcore with an extremely relevant message. That said, you absolutely cannot, nor should you want to, separate this band from what they are attempting to say in raising more voices than just their own, as the album title indicates. This effort is intended as a megaphone for others. The track “Semillas” with its shouted intro, the famous quote, “they tried to bury us but they didn’t know that we were seeds” is precisely about the “us” who have been and continue to be oppressed throughout the world simply for being born as the person they are.
“Our Bodies, Our Choice” provides an almost plodding rendition aimed at everyone who would try to deny that freedom or liberation to women. The song itself rides a wave of mosh-heavy riffing before sprinting to the finish line. It’s yet another brilliant showing of versatility by the band. On subsequent track, “We Exist Yo Existo” we are handed what might be the most challenging track on the album but it is also one of the most satisfying. It demands, lyrically and musically, that you pay attention. Acoustic guitars adorn the early passages of the song before we are presented some slow, grinding hardcore as the track exists in a constant state of building tension. The final emotive explosion over the final :30 seconds provides a perfectly satisfying release before we head into the, almost contemplative, final stretch of a challenging and rewarding album.
FFO: Combat Wounded Veteran, Orchid, Reversal of Man, good hardcore
Our Voices Will Soar Forever is out now via Prosthetic Records, and is available for purchase on the band’s Bandcamp page.