Artist: The Gloom In the Corner
Album: Flesh and Bones – EP
Many artists—well, one could argue all artists—use their music to tell a story. For many, it’s a means of telling their story. For others, it’s a means of telling stories they’ve witnessed—stories involving them but not belonging to them. For others still, music is a means of recanting history, revisiting years and eons forgotten. You don’t need me to tell you this, but music is a lot of things to a lot of people—its reasonable to argue its one of the few things left that yield a unique experience from individual to individual anymore. And while many artists employ one of the above methods to assist their message in making an impact, few use multiple, and of the ones that do, few do it quite so well as The Gloom in the Corner. Intelligent yet immolating, these Australian metalcore marauders have spent their critically acclaimed discography building a character and a narrative that, on one hand, tells its own unique and immersive tale, but on another hand reflects personal trials and tribulations, imparting a relatable, catchy and ruthlessly heavy impression that makes The Gloom in the Corner’s Flesh and Bones one of the more interesting releases to rise from the nu-metal-infused metalcore circuit in recent history.
The Gloom in the Corner—while a band that stays very true to their concept—is constantly evolving musically. Whereas their first release was wildly experimental (in many ways, good, but in many ways not-so-good), their follow-up release was a much “safer” collection of songs. Flesh and Bones once more sees the outfit stray from clearly-demarcated genre boundaries in an effort to make something simultaneously emotional and eviscerating. Flesh and Bones is home to jarring, explosive percussion—especially on “Survivor’s Guilt” and “Bleed You Out”—that sets the tone for the record’s heavier moments. Those cuts in particular see The Gloom in the Corner at their heaviest yet, with uproarious bass that lends an extra heft to each thudding smack of the kick drum. Meanwhile, songs like “D.I.M.A.” are much more varied in natured, as beautiful as they are bold and bustling. Here, the percussion plays a much more structural role, while guitars oscillate back and forth with atmosphere to create something catchy and mesmerizing. In this way, the band move back and forth, straying across genre lines. “Misanthropic” is a rabble-rousing nu-metal banger, no questions asked—with several segments sounding eerily similar to a Speaker of the Dead era Emmure. Other songs—“D.I.M.A.,” and more—are balanced and beautiful in their nature. Then, there are songs like “Bleed You Out,” which does just that—disembowel the listener with heaviness that comes clean out of left field.
Just as Flesh and Bones is an instrumental dynamo, the band’s vocal and lyrical element is the finest they’ve yet to release. Mikey Arthur—the voice of The Gloom in the Corner’s protagonist—has once more outdone himself on Flesh and Bones. While it isn’t my place to lend detail into the story (for those of you invested in Gloom’s narrative), it should suffice to say that the group have remained true to the timeline instigated upon their debut, adding more depth, flair and character to the story’s players than ever before. This can be seen in their music video accompanying the announcement of Flesh and Bones just as readily as it can in the release itself, but to truly appreciate the lyrical whimsy that defines the release, it has to be heard and experienced as a whole. Arthur’s vocals, however, are another (albeit similar) story. His range and endurance—not to mention intensity—has evolved immensely, such that by the time “Misanthropic” is through, it’s hard to even tell it’s the same frontman. This trend of shock and awe continues throughout the record, as even with several astounding guest performances, Arthur’s voice still dominates, making good on the promises of potential hinted at on Homecoming.
Whether you’re an avid fan of The Gloom in the Corner’s storyline or you’re just along for the grooves and breakdowns, you will absolutely love Flesh and Bones. Blending nu metal with metalcore, hardcore, post-hardcore and more, this Australian outfit are fresh, catchy and furious—all while crafting not just a single release, but several to an overarching storyline; something not often done in heavy music (or at all) these days. In short, make it a point to experience Flesh and Bones, as there is little doubt in my mind you’ll be hearing echoes of it in the release of The Gloom in the Corner’s peers in the years to come.
For Fans Of: Weeping Wound, Dealer, VCTMS
By: Connor Welsh