Every ounce of the marrow filling your bones feels as if it is about to rupture. Your skin splits, tendons tear and flesh flays, tearing with every breath you force into your lungs. You entire body is pure pain and misery. There are knives pinching into every square inch of your skin; where your hair follicles should be, instead there are needles. Every day has been like this—except a little bit worse—and it isn’t changing. This is the end of the road for you; any minute could be your last, and it’s been years since the last day where that was even frightening for you. This is loss. This is death. This is deprivation.
This is Anguish.
This is the debut full-length by Floridian downtempo deathcore outfit Noose. Taking subtle elements of heavy hardcore, slamming aggression and the brash, bold, relentless attitude of beatdown and giving it a distinctly Floridian flare, Anguish is a long-awaited display of lurid hatred. Directed inwards, outwards—any and every direction—Noose take their demented, devastating brand of extreme heaviness and strike out at anything within striking distance. Heart-poundingly intense, hellaciously heavy and dynamic in its approach to eviscerating the listener, Anguish is a display of wonton hate that every heavy music fan should expose themselves to.
Noose are vicious. Plain and simple, no two ways about it. Every ounce of Anguish delivers exactly what it claims—from the jarring, crushing introductory number, “Indecency,” through “Self Induced” and the terrifyingly heavy title track. This cruel quartet inflict pain with every chug and groove—snap bones with each slam—blending heavy hardcore, beatdown and metal with a heavy handed splash of downtempo deathcore that aligns them with fellow Floridians Bodysnatcher and Deadland. Percussionist Austin McGraw is the band’s backbone; it is his monstrous kick drum and creative use of explosive footwork and sharp, spine-snapping snare is a solid foundation for the band’s ultra-aggressive and absurdly belligerent style of brutality. Songs like “Drop” highlight this, as does “No Sincerity,” seeing McGraw steamroll the listener with immense percussion, working with bassist Janpeirre Mojica to maintain a gritty, filthy low end. Mojica might not lay down mind-blowing bass grooves or technically impervious segments of slinking, sinister fretwork—but that isn’t what Anguish is. Anguish is blunt-force trauma that leaves the listener bleeding out on the pavement, and that’s exactly what Mojica, working with McGraw and guitarist Damian Caban, do, and do damn well. Caban, like Mojica, doesn’t dazzle with dizzying solos—he hits hard with bare-bones, brutalizing riffs and grooves that link together flesh-melting breakdowns. “No Sincerity,” as well as “Self Induced” and “Criminal” showcase this, blending elements of old-school deathcore into their new-school annihilation mentality. Blending low, bouncy slams and riffs with organ-pulverizing, prolapse-inducing breakdowns, Noose are lethal in every way you can fathom.
When I say every way, I do mean it—it’s true of Noose’s crushing instrumentation in songs like “No Sincerity” or “Parasite” just as its true of the vocal effort put forth by frontman Anthony Angencia throughout the album’s duration. Anguish is an onslaught of aggression, and it finds its focal point in the vicious roars and intense howls that Angencia lets loose upon the listener’s head. From the first seconds of “Indecency,” through “Drop” and to Anguish’s last reverberating seconds, Angencia’s vocals are gruff and visceral. He belts out syllable after syllable of focused hate with a meaty, moody bark—joining forces with some of the most unique and intense vocals in heavy hardcore and metalcore alike on “Anguish” (featuring I AM’s Andrew Hileman) and “Self Induced,” featuring Adaliah’s Jorge Sotomayor. Even with the incredible guest vocalists throughout Anguish, Angencia shines all on his own; if you doubt him, wait until the closing seconds of “Parasite,” or all of “No Sincerity” see him poised with the heel of his boot crushing your head with practiced, relentless ferocity.
Anguish is an intense record that defines a year already packed with intense records. While it might not win an award for most original, it is one of very few records to emerge from downtempo-infused, beatdown-tinted, slam-dusted hardcore that successfully makes the listener see nothing but red. Aggressive to the very last second, yet fun and energetic, Noose take the lethality implied by their name and, once more, bring it to life—giving even more clout to claims that Florida is the most punishing peninsula the United States has to offer.
For Fans Of: Traitors, REX, Bodysnatcher, Genocide District, Drowning, ClawHammer
By: Connor Welsh