For Fans Of
New York underground metal act Heal These Wounds are back with their brand of “happy hardcore” for an eight track (album or EP?) ‘Ambitions,’ which really is full of some uplifting metal. I seriously think this band is on to something here, bright guitar riffs which are backed by chunky rhythm sections and brutal vocals, a mix that works surprisingly well. Opening track Blindside is the perfect example of what this band is doing, the bass heavy stabbing guitars that open the song could fool the listener into thinking here is just another metal record, but when the colourful lead guitars, which sound like something from a Journey record, come in, everything changes. Providence follows and falls back into a more standard metal routine, losing some of the light and being driven by the most intense vocal performance from singer Andrew McCauley, on the whole record. The pace quickens for Conversations as the band skip along with a introduction best described as a chipper stutter, from here it is clear that the music can really do whatever it wants so long as McCauley’s fierce screams are present, like a leash tied to the word “metal.”
The highlight is a song called Traveller, which has a rolling drum beat and spacious single note guitars which are heavy without being heavy. The vocals sound tortured on this track and are supported perfectly by the music. The record ends with Hurricanes, the biggest sounding song on the album due to the guitars spreading across everything for the entire duration of the song, and an unnamed bonus track which is essentially just another standard metal song, similar to Providence.
As stated earlier, this band may have cracked a new style in an otherwise tiring genre, if they can embrace this unique quirk and push it further people may not be mentioning the word underground with their name for much longer.
6. At The Wayside