Album: Your Receding Warmth
What do you think of when you think of metalcore? Raunchy breakdowns? Ruthless riffs? Harshly belted screams hammering home lyrics written with fervor and vitriol? Or maybe it’s the more balanced components of the genre that drew you in—the serene singing that breaks up the otherwise malicious maelstrom of aggression and energy—maybe that did it for you. Regardless of what it is that defines metalcore for you, the point is this: Boundaries have it all. On the band’s debut full length record, Your Receding Warmth, these Connecticut-based masters of metalcore absolutely crush it. Whether its breakdowns that hit hard enough to prolapse your entire colon, riffs that shred the skin cleanly from your bones or vocal dynamics the likes of which keep you, the listener, on your toes for a half hour or more, Your Receding Warmth brings it all to the table and then some. Boundaries managed not only to bring into effect one of the best records of 2020, but one of the best contemporary metalcore records ever written—in a time where the genre and its enthusiasts truly needed it most.
There isn’t a single facet of metalcore that is not readily and abundantly available on Your Receding Warmth. Boundaries bring nothing but pure power to every aspect of their debut full-length record, and it starts from the opening chugs of “Is Survived By…” and lingers even through the haunting conclusion “From The Departed, Dear or Otherwise.” Kickstarted by high-octane fretwork and driven home by rambunctious, riveting percussion, Your Receding Warmth kicks a literal metric ton of ass without stopping and taking a breath to pause. Songs like “My Strength” see Boundaries oscillate smoothly between their extremes of aggression: trudging, brutalizing breakdowns and lacerating leads. Other songs, like “Behind the Bend,” see Boundaries throw in segments of eerie ambience between otherwise immolating moments of malevolent metalcore. Other songs still—“I’d Rather Not Say” and “Fade Away”—stride that balance confidently, including ever so slightly more melancholic moments while still hammering away with twin sledge hammers of metalcore mischief. The album’s title track—another cut that sees the band experimenting with a largely unsettling sense of atmosphere—captures every style Boundaries set out to portray on Your Receding Warmth and make it flow smoothly and cleanly. There isn’t a song on this record that doesn’t absolutely succeed in exemplifying not only an entire genre, but all of Boundaries’ work to date, serving as the crème-de-la-crème of the genre and, by virtue, their discography.
Just as Your Receding Warmth is crafted with nothing but pure instrumental fervor, the band’s vocal element is equally as laden with straight up piss and vinegar. Every cut Boundaries offer is a visceral slab of meat. “I’d Rather Not Say” is as catchy as it is creative, with vocal patterns that dance across rollicking breakdowns and rampaging riffs—just as “Is Survived By” is a monstrous effort with a vocal hook that brings the whole track home. Where there is singing, it is done tastefully and adds an immense amount of depth and dynamism to Boundaries’ entire soundscape. The record closer—a spoken word track—excels where it could utterly fail, with prose that makes a cohesive theme from even the more disparately themed tracks throughout the record. Not a single syllable throughout Your Receding Warmth feels half assed, from the lyrics down to the delivery, and I think I can count on two hands—if I even need the second hand—the number of records within the genre that have been able to bring that degree of sincerity and intensity to the table, especially on a debut full length release.
Where many bands are struggling to hammer out their sound and make it flow well for their first half-hour-plus offering, Boundaries knew exactly what they wanted (and needed) to do with Your Receding Warmth and abso-fucking-lutely nailed it. Not only a sleeper candidate for 2020’s album of the year, but for one of the finest contemporary offerings the genre has had in recent history, Your Receding Warmth is gritty, raw and visceral while still feeling fluid, smooth and—somehow—polished; an astounding, well-rounded and riveting display of sonically perfect metalcore.
For Fans Of: Vatican, Varials, Counterparts, Born a New, Degrader
By: Connor Welsh