One of the last true UK metalcore heavyweights, Renounced are just about ready to release one of the year’s toughest, catchiest records via Holy Roar. Beauty Is A Destructive Angel perfectly channels all of the youthful aggression of the genre’s fledgling years in the early 2000s – when melodeath riffing and hardcore chugging combined like peanut butter and chocolate, forming a sickly sweet mixture that gets stuck in your ears like the aforementioned combination gets stuck to the roof of your mouth. Ahead of the release of the record next month, the band were kind enough to submit an entry in our Anatomy Of archive, which is why you’re currently here. Read on and find out which of your favourite turn of the century Diesel jean wearing, swooped fringe owning outfits make Renounced tick.
Okay, before we get to the band’s picks. I have to take a second to talk about their latest single and video for “In A Years Turning”. I’m one of the lucky few to have heard Beauty Is A Destructive Angel in its entirety and this is right up there with my favourite cuts from the LP. Whether that’s because I’m in a huge Poison The Well kick right now or not, the track is still total fucking dynamite. Staccato chugging hasn’t sounded so crisp in a long time, and those perfectly balanced “ooo’s” in the chorus take me back to a glorious time in my life when my lips were pierced and my shorts were much baggier. It’s not just nostalgic though, Renounced carry a wholly modern sound into the next decade on this record, anyone dismissing it as such deserves to be strung up by their Famous Stars And Straps backpack. I’ll be windmilling customers at work to this for the rest of the year.
Daniel Gray (vocals)
Poison The Well – Tear From The Red
This is the best Poison The Well album in my opinion. I feel it’s their pinnacle as a band, and although I love the demo and The Opposite Of December, this spoke to me the most. They down-tuned to C, which is what we did after Melancholy…, and the overall production is a step up from previous releases. The simple clean breakdowns, singing.. “but I adoreeeeeeee herrrrrrrrr”…and classic spoken word parts just top this album off for me. I also love the artwork. A classic metalcore record that all should own. My favourite song from the album is “Turn Down Elliot”. It conjures up the most feels for me and the breakdown for “hands held tight around” is a mosher. The ending singing part also is killer “skies most wanted goodbyes… “. Whole album’s amazing.
Dan Rayner (guitar)
Misery Signals – Of Malice and The Magnum Heart
This in my eyes is the perfect metalcore album. It has crushing riffs, heavy breakdowns and then twiddly beautiful clean parts which perfectly compliment the heaviness. The lyrical content is something that really spoke to me as a teenager. Amongst all others, this seemed raw, seemed pure. The emotion, realism, and poetry I think is something that many bands try to replicate and don’t often achieve. The moment the drum fill hits in “A Victim A Target” it still captures me straight away. It’s an album that I can listen to start to finish and not find any faults. The amazing interlude of “Worlds and Dreams” that not only breaks up the album perfectly but gives a nice relief. It’s really hard for me to pick one song from this album. “Five Years” is a very close second, but if I had to pick my favourite it would be “The Year Summer Ended In June”. It throws you straight in and takes you on this rollercoaster ride. After reading the backstory of the lyrics, it made this song even more powerful to me. It is an ode to people you have lost and a reminder that life can be cruel. It is crushingly heavy while at the same time incredibly beautiful.
Sammy Urwin (guitar)
Lamb Of God – As The Palaces Burn
This record has been a huge influence on me as a musician. I remember buying this back when I was a kid and I would go to HMV to buy a new album every week with pocket money I had saved up by doing chores around the house. This whole record spews venom from start to finish and was just what the heavy music world needed in a strange time when the dust was still settling after the demise of Nu-Metal. It was a familiar sound but new at the same time. You can hear the influence of Metal legends like Slayer and Pantera but merged with influences from the underground metalcore scene that was bubbling away beneath the surface in the late 90s/early 2000s. The real stand out feature for me on this record is Randy Blythe’s vocal delivery. Every word has so much character to it, and the lyrics to every track have stuck with me over the years. As The Palaces Burn is a modern-day metal(core) classic.
Jack Bryant (drums)
Killswitch Engage – Alive Or Just Breathing
This album stole me away from the cheesy pop-punk I used to listen to as a kid and turned my attention to the heavier side of life. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of cheese in this album but it helped to bridge the gap for me and it wouldn’t be the same without it! The slamming riffs mixed with the insane foot skills of Justin Foley (Adam D played drums on this record, the mad bastard! – Matt) really resonated with me and I wanted so badly to be able to play the same way that I bought my first double pedal and got to work. This album showed me that you can have a mix of super heavy riffs and really melodic sections, perfectly demonstrated in “My Last Serenade”.
Chris Howes (Bass)
Slipknot – Slipknot
This record changed my entire perspective on music. The brutality and rawness of it made me feel something I never had before. I was 13 years old when it first came out. It definitely led the way for me musically. This record to me is still as relevant now as it was at its release. The track “Eyeless” is the real standout and easily my favourite overall. Its sheer aggression still gives me the same feeling that it did on my first listen. I’ve been hooked ever since. Paul Gray’s solid and tight play style influenced me a lot personally as a bassist. The bass parts on Surfacing highlight how incredible a bassist he was. An absolute monster of tone and technique.