Artist: Shattered Horizons
Single Feature: “Hangman’s Covenant.”
When we’re born, we make a promise with the earth—with whatever God you do or don’t believe in, and with ourselves. We’re put here to die, nothing more and nothing less. While there are boundless things we can do with what time we have on our way from the cradle to the grave, the end result is by-and-large the same: born to dirt, live as dirt, return to dirt. This cynical, nagging nihility is sharpened with a misanthropic edge and refined with infernal hellfire on the latest single from Scottish ultra-heavyweights, Shattered Horizons. This crushing deathcore outfit infuse technicality with terrifying intensity and bone-busting aggression that carefully blends elements of riff-driven death metal with depressive, dark and dismal deathcore, leaving just enough atmosphere to make the sharp, driving segments truly cut deeply into the listener’s psyche. Be careful before you click play—because in doing so, you’ve made a deal with a fate you can’t avoid.
In a word, “Hangman’s Covenant” is monstrous. Simultaneously catchy, cunning—yet crushing and brutalizing, Shattered Horizons far outdo their already impressive curriculum vitae. Formed on a foundation of punchy, pummeling percussion that roams between skin-peeling blast beats, bouncy grooves and progressively-tinted, jazz-dusted moments of atmospheric aggression, the band’s drumming is as dynamic to a point of defying simple genre confinements. Amplified by a bold, writhing bass that makes every pattern feel as if it’s being stomped into the listener’s head by Goliath himself, Shattered Horizon’s low end is ludicrous throughout the entirety of the song, doing exactly what heavy music lovers and audiophiles alike would expect: paving the way for the furious fretwork and immense, scathing vocals. Together, these two elements work in careful dialectic. Where the vocals are outright oppressive, the fretwork lays back ever so slightly, giving the shrill shrieks and rampant roars room to take up the entire mix, raining down on the listener like death. Other times, the fretwork steals the show—and it does so in the best way possible. The entirety of “Hangman’s Covenant” is energetic and eviscerating in all respects, but especially where the guitar is concerned—thoroughly bewildering the listener with intricacy one second, and then busting them open with heaviness the next. “Hangman’s Covenant” is an appetite-piquing piece of sonic delight, bound to entice listeners into keeping their eye on what Shattered Horizons’ upcoming album has to hold.
For Fans Of: Nexilva, Ingested, Oceano, Shadow of Intent, Slaughter to Prevail
By: Connor Welsh