Born a New Make Triumphant Return on “Seoul City” [Single/2023]

For a moment in time, there was a period in the late-2010s where east coast mosh warriors Born a New were ubiquitous; as the band emerged with their breakout full length Eternal Isolation, they seemed to be on every nationwide tour bill, have songs in every heavy-music oriented playlist–the list goes on. They thrust themselves into notoriety with prodigal flair, making them one of the can’t-miss bands in what I jokingly (but only kinda jokingly) refer to as the “Fight Riffs” era.

Recently, however, the Born a New camp has been silent–but not silent as in dead, silent as in dedicated and determined, working with nose to grindstone on an all-new take on what Born a New has come to represent. Now, we get to hear the result of this hard work with “Seoul City,” the band’s first all-new offering in just about a year, featuring none other than UK metalcore overlords Malevolence’s Alex Taylor. “Seoul City” is a raunchy but ruthlessly introspective dive into punchy metalcore, combining everything from metallic riffs to pummeling downbeats and devastating breakdowns to give the listener a comprehensive tour of what the  born a new Born a New is all about.

Built on a foundation of steamrolling percussion and full-bodied, snappy bass, “Seoul City” begins with a bouncy drum pattern and eerie guitar overlay but quickly dives into an invigorating two-step that allows the band’s fretwork to truly shine. What makes “Seoul City” a quintessentially Born a New experience is the juxtaposition of the band’s lyrics and instrumentation–while their drums hit hard, guitar riffs and grooves without relent and the vocals run a gamut from gritty low screams to occasionally piercing shrieks, the lyrics are a deep dive into the meaning of home and one’s past where adoption and family are concerned. This is all capped off with a stunning, albeit brief, appearance from Taylor, whose harsh mid-range yell is nigh instantly recognizable.

A stand-out track in an otherwise immense catalogue and the first sample of Born a New’s new lineup (including an all new vocalist), “Seoul City” is immensely promising and a truly outstanding cut from a band that has yet to release anything even close to a flop. Born a New prove that while they’ve been quiet, they certainly have also been busy, and it’s looking like 2024 is only going to get busier still.


For Fans Of: Degrader, Extortionist, Distinguisher, Falsifier

By: Connor Welsh