Artist: And Hell Followed With
Let’s talk about second chances. Not like the kind you ask for from your ex, or from your parents after you totally botch a chore or sneak out at night—but the kind we’ve been seeing more and more over the last two years: the heavy music comeback kind of “second chance.” Over the last several years, the heavy music community has seen the resurgence of several bands long defunct—many of these have been stellar, but as many have been a little underwhelming to say the least, but the sheer number of bands many people thought were long gone that have been seemingly resurrected is shocking to say the least. And Hell Followed With is one of those bands, and after releasing a genre-defining album with Proprioception, the band’s return was bound to be under enormous scrutiny and set to pretty extreme stakes. Chimerical Reality—the band’s comeback EP—was, while different, solid. Ultimately, many fans of the band’s immense influence on deathcore as a genre were left in want. Now, however, the band are back with Quietus, a release many will consider And Hell Followed With’s true comeback. Packed with over forty minutes of eerie riffs, looming atmosphere, gut wrenching breakdowns and stellar vocal expertise, Quetius sees the prodigal songs of deathcore finally come home to reclaim their throne.
Instrumentally, Quietus feels more the mature and evolved counterpart to Domain and Proprioception than it does at all related to the Metalcore-styled Chimerical Reality. From the very get-go, the band establish a music dynamic that is gargantuan, towering over the listener like an obelisk. Songs like “The Great Mist” and “Sacrificial Human Destiny” see the band draw huge influence from melodic death metal and atmospheric death metal to infuse depth and an airy, haunting ethereality into their otherwise eviscerating breed of deathcore. Other songs, like singles “Infinite Sequential Visions of a Sphere of Hate” and “The Well” are one-hundred percent raunchy and ruthless deathcore cuts that fail to compromise in their mission to rend the listener’s flesh. Here, lightning-like percussion underscores a thick, booming bass and fretwork that effortlessly segues from skin-peeling riffs into spine-shrinking breakdowns. “Jewels of Urn” furthers this aspect of the band’s dynamic as a devastating powerhouse that blends terrifying riffs with tremendous breakdowns and an explosive penchant for unending heaviness; similarly, “Emotionless Mass” wastes little time in establishing itself as one of the record’s most primal and intense songs. And Hell Followed With create an instrumental element that is undeniably deathcore, but also is unafraid to incorporate other influences from metallic subgenres (beyond going for the low-hanging fruit of blackened deathcore). Including everything from symphonic elements on “Artificial Womb” to melodic elements on “The Great Mist” and brutal death metal elements on “The Well,” And Hell Followed With have created a wondrously diverse experience that still hits the same as a throwback deathcore record.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you also checked out Alone in Death, the 2022 EP from deathcore rising stars Crown Magnetar. The same vocalist—Dan Tucker—dominates the mic as And Hell Followed With’s frontman, and manages to bring the same unrelenting intensity while still sounding different enough to keep listeners from feeling as though they’re just listening to another Crown Magnetar record (which would also be fine, don’t get me wrong). Tucker’s work on Quietus is stunning, with immense vocal variety that shines amid a host of incredible guest vocalists. Tucker does an outstanding job of matching the immense variety of styles and influences abundant on Quietus and adding more depth and intensity to anything he utters a single syllable on. “Infinite Sequential Visions of a Sphere of Hate” sees him work with speed and punctual technicality, just as “Emotionless Mass” and “The Well” see him forsake technical skill for raw, primal intensity. There is no element of Tucker’s performance that leaves the listener wanting in any way.
It’s hard to outright compare Quietus to And Hell Followed With’s earlier releases—so I’m not going to sit here and say it’s their best album to date, but I will tell you that if you, like many others, were left wanting after hearing Chimerical Reality, this release will leave you wanting no longer. Quietus is a stunning deathcore release that is packed to the brim with variety and intensity without holding anything back or pulling a single punch. I would submit that “The Well” now stands as the band’s overall strongest song, containing riffs catchier than the clap and breakdowns that are practically world-ending. That same level of energy and aggression is rampant throughout the release, to a point that any fan of heavy music will find something to love on Quietus.
For Fans Of: Fit For An Autopsy, Bodysnatcher, Brand of Sacrifice, Crown Magnetar
By: Connor Welsh