Artist: Poured Out
Album: Blind Heart – EP
When you hear “poured out,” you might think hollow—substanceless and without impact, content or resolve. While it might be tempting to make these jokes and write off this Maryland hardcore quartet without having heard their music, believe me when I say that would be an enormous mistake on your part—as their debut release, Blind Heart, is a rock-solid display of punishing hardcore melded with malicious, riff-heavy metal that is far from empty. Poured Out combine punch and passion on their Facedown Records debut, showing the band are able to take tried-and-true nineties metalcore and give it a burst of contemporary color and life—adding a sharp new edge to the band’s blunt, bone-crunching dynamic.
Blind Heart is an explosive display of directionless energy and passion—just as its name might imply. Poured Out begin on a podium crafted from driving metal and dissonant hardcore and keep building from there—adding more and more frenzied fervor to their sound in a 3-to-1 ratio of hardcore to metal, keeping things heavy and hectic without sacrificing their sharp metallic edge. Percussionist Matt Dooley is at the core of Poured Out—dictating the direction and ferocity of every track. The opening number, “Unconditional,” is a relentless, riotous barn-burner that sees Dooley dishing it out as fast as he can, soaring from speedy blasts to dancy two-steps and crunchy breakdowns, just as the lengthy and elegant “Hymn of a Broken Man” sees him flowing from raunchy speed to relative calm, giving the listener a chance to rest their ears. However, even at his speediest, Dooley is never alone, accompanied by his groovy shadow—found within the bass-lines of Grant Johnstone. Johnstone adds heft to every thud of Dooley’s kick drum, never truly stealing the show, but playing an important role as Poured Out’s anchor. Johnstone’s bass is a thick, fluid firmament that adds depth to Dooley’s drumming while giving guitarist Ridge Rhine something distinct to build upon. Rhine crafts behemoth breakdowns and relentless riffs—heard at their prime in “American Justice,” or the anthemic “Poured Out”—that give Blind Heart both bold metallic hues and brutalizing breakdowns. While Rhine’s more ambient portions of “Hymn of a Broken Man” seem a little too ambient for Poured Out’s style, a great majority of his fretwork is as stellar as it is furious—and believe me, if Rhine’s guitar playing were an animal, it would be a rabid hyena, poised to rip out the listener’s trachea in one swift dive.
Poured Out’s instrumental amalgamation of metal and hardcore is mirrored perfectly with their vocal element. Frontman Randy Lyvers has a booming, harsh roar that rips the listener’s eardrums to shreds, effectively blending styles from both metal and hardcore to create a catchy, intense sound that adds even more energy and viciousness to Blind Heart. Lyvers’ work on “Unconditional,” through the poignant “Hymn of a Broken Man” and the unstoppable “Beloved” showcases his endurance and zealous energy above the maelstrom of Poured Out’s metal-turned-hardcore soundscape. While Lyvers may not have the range or diversity of his peers, he compensates with emotional intensity and lyrical prowess—writing heartfelt and socially relevant songs that stick with the listener and encourage them to both think and feel. “American Justice” is an excellent example—while “Poured Out” is a more simple, straight-to-the-point mosh anthem that is sure to get feet and fists flying.
Poured Out create a raunchy, fun release that still manages to make the listener think just as much as they feel—and with breakdowns like those in “Poured Out,” the listener will definitely feel something, especially if they catch the band live. Blind Heart is about as diverse as one can expect from a nineties-style metalcore band, delivering two-steps and riffs by the boatload without filler or thoughtlessness of any kind. While the band leave a little to be desired in the way of both run time and vocal diversity, that doesn’t stop their label debut from being devastating and dynamic in its own way—far from hollow and still very full of life.
For Fans Of: Varials, Left Behind, On Broken Wings, xRepentancex
By: Connor Welsh