Album: Into the Void (EP)
I’ve always had an unparalleled fascination with the creation of new things—the formation of something out of what seems like nothing. There’s a near indescribable beauty to the sort of organization that sprouts forth from that kind of chaos: some solace in knowing that the universe is, at least on one level, functioning as it should. This formation of order from chaos and structure from disorder is nothing new to New York’s heaviest, Towers. Hailing from the depths of skyscraper-studded skylines and mile-high buildings, destruction and construction is every bit as routine as breathing for this breath taking and brutal five-piece. Make no mistake, as it shows in their latest release, Into the Void. Founded upon stunning levels of intricate, conversational instrumentation with dynamic levels of atmosphere and technicality, Into the Void is an obelisk of oppression, staying true to the band’s namesake—Towering above the efforts of Towers’ peers and pumping fresh blood into a shriveled and decaying genre.
Like the inception of even the most complex structures—even the tallest towers—Into the Void begins subtly with “For Silence.” “For Silence” takes its time, weaving a heavy-end groove in with ambient, creeping guitar to intrigue the listener, and attempt to whet their appetite. The truth, however, is that no introduction could serve to prepare the listener for the instrumental onslaught which Towers have prepared in not only the following track, “Potema,” but the duration of the EP. “Potema” leaps forward from the ambient fog found in “For Silence” and without a second thought begins to craft dynamic, sky-high pillars of dynamic instrumentation. While one guitar pounds and slams at the listener’s head and neck, crafting a sturdy foundation, the other crafts rafters and walls of firm but furious fretwork—all of which revolve around the unmovable backbone that is comprised of the track’s incessant percussion and punctual, popping bass guitar. “Grievance” is another track whose instrumentation is dynamic to the point of noteworthiness. Launching as a gregarious, groovy attack on the listener’s sanity, it steadily morphs into an atmospheric, ambient juggernaut, with ethereal, progressive guitar work any fan of Towers’ past work couldn’t have seen coming even with binoculars. While “Grievance” makes a pointed and pernicious use of the band’s newfound penchant for dynamic and technical songwriting, each track on Into the Void includes evidence of these advanced weapons in Towers’ arsenal—whether it’s the subtle (but stunning) bass in “Malice Hands” or the insanely quick drum fills found scattered throughout the latter half of the release.
All this dynamic and marvelous musicianship serves to craft brilliant cathedrals and monuments dedicated to the perfection of heavy music. However, what good are these monuments—these intricate pillars of the deathcore pilgrimage which is Into the Void—if they’re still standing at the end of the release? Towers build these masterful structures of sound that keep the listener hooked only so the sheer soul smothering misery which strikes when they’re toppled hits that much closer to home. While Towers have made enormous leaps and bounds in their ability to include technicality and intelligence into their songwriting vocabulary, they are without a doubt still a heavy band, and they make no efforts to keep it secret. It might be the unrivaled, hard-hitting honesty on “Hallowed,” or the sinister evil on “Malice Hands,” but the biggest-bore cannon in Towers’ limitless armory of heaviness is without a doubt the vocals, and the lyrics they convey. The vocals are capable of ranging from a hard-hitting and meaty mid range scream to a beefy, bludgeoning bellow that perfectly match the instrumentation surrounding them. When the downtuned nature of the churning, chugging guitars dominates, the vocals reach down into the deepest depths of the earth’s crust to unleash lyrical hell. As a corollary, when the guitars and drums become faster paced and more technical, the vocals pick up the pace and follow along with a yell that fits and flows as smoothly as a river of butter.
Using those two elements in a perfect toggle, Towers have effectively perfected the “make and break” dynamic. Every track serves as a journey in it’s own right, crafting something unimaginably beautiful right before the listener’s eyes, only to break their heart when they burn it to the ground. “Potema” kicks it off, and the trend continues throughout Into the Void—and is perhaps highlighted in the EP’s closer, “Grievance.” Fittingly, “Grievance” is a track which reaches into new and unexplored emotion for the band, and the complexity within is mirrored in the sheer beauty found in the track. Starting with gut-wrenching, spine-shrinking heaviness and transgressing through a phase of Edenic serenity, “Grievance” truly crafts one of the most intricate and awe-inspiring soundscapes the listener will have ever heard—only to end it all with a cut-throat, bloodletting groove which hits so hard it might cause the listener to prolapse. While each track does this to some degree, Towers without a doubt save the best for last in a track which means as much to the band as a means of progression and beauty as it does for its message and the emotion behind it.
Towers put their heart, blood, sweat and lifeforce into the making of Into the Void, an EP which stands miles above the likes of its peers. It is equal parts dense, drowning heaviness and stunning, dynamic songwriting. Most importantly, Towers have bolstered and perfected their sound without changing what the listener came for—brutality, plain and simple. To put it simply, Towers are just that—a towering monument to everything a hard-hitting, yet instrumentally savvy band could possibly hope to be.
For Fans Of: Forsaken, Sworn In, Black Tongue, Immoralist, Oceano, Legions
By: Connor Welsh