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Named after a lyric from Deftones‘ ‘MX,’ Thirty Nights Of Violence have a fair bit going for them right now. The multi-tiered vocal styles from most of their members adds variety, whether it’s Zach Wilbourn’s spoken-word and raw bark or bassist Jake Chestnut’s singing parts; a crystal clear passion for early and mid-2000’s post-hardcore and metalcore and it’s current revivalist wave that’s making big splashes; drummer/growler Ethan Young recently being recruited by Code Orange for session and tour work, better pinning Thirty Nights Of Violence on the map; and most importantly, having accomplished a marked improvement over their debut EP, 2018’s ‘To Die In Your Portrait‘ with this new EP. It’s all coming up Thirty Nights Of Violence!
On ‘You’ll See Me Up There,’ Thirty Nights Of Violence clearly pull from a range of other artists: Vein, Glassjaw, Deftones, Botch, Eighteen Visions, Converge, and Poison The Well. Or almost as if the alumni of Ferret Music and Trustkill all became a new sentient being and wrote a metalcore/hardcore EP in 2020. Because I’ve heard all of this before, and you all will have heard these tropes before, no doubt. However, the key difference is that while these influences are obvious cornerstones of TNOV’s sound, this Nashville quintet nail it quite well. Unoriginal but absolutely competent: a facsimile of what’s come before them but a strong one at that. On top of this, everything about this young band’s sound has been pushed to that next level from their debut offering: the writing is a lot stronger, the performances are more memorable, everything hits harder, it flows smoother, the production better favours the music, there’s more replay value; and it breaks new dynamics for the U.S group.
With just 15-minutes on the clock, ‘Lost In Your Light‘ wastes no time in putting a good foot forward for the band’s second EP. ‘Lost In Your Light‘ is a mix of booming chugs, bass-drops, pummelling double-kicks, syncopated triplet breakdowns, speedy harmonic slices, panicked guitar chords aplenty, with a dark spoken word part from Zach and an electronic industrial break under-pinning the track’s gloomy bridge. All before things rocket right back into that nostalgic 2000’s metalcore style to make it business as usual. Throw in some gang vocals and a splattering mix of heavier vocals with menacing six-string dissonance, and it’s final gnarly breakdown – complete with a throwback reverse reverb swell because of course – is a melting-pot of everything they love and wishes to replicate.
‘In Vein‘ – about the damage that addiction causes – tackles a simpler, more digestible and melodic approach with some sweet vibrato guitar leads and tambourine hits on the snare in the intro. Just before it all careens off the tracks and barrels forward into savage, busied, low-string chugging metalcore territory. From there, ‘In Vein‘ shifts between those two ideas – these lighter-sounding, layered post-hardcore refrains and the band’s usual boomy, blast beating metal side – for the rest of its runtime. Not the first or the last band to attempt a classic trick, they do it well. And that’s the great decider.
Next up, the title track sounds like a 30-second ambient, glitchy off-shoot of that aforementioned electro part heard underneath the surface of ‘Lost In Your Light.’ It’s a nice little palette cleanser, with soft keys and samples, and one that does transition into the barely one-minute-long, hardcore ass-beater of the tempo-shifting ‘Salt‘ that Ethan leads with a violent flurry. Although, I really wished that this eponymous song was more expansive and less linear; yearning for it to, y’know, actually go somewhere. Something I’d love to see them develop further on whatever follows ‘You’ll See Me Up There.’
Thirty Nights Of Violence also aren’t afraid to go traditional on your poser ass with songs like ‘Shattered Glass.’ What starts as a bruising, harmonic-laden and off-kilter metallic hardcore track with a varied barrage of vocal attacks, the kind we’d safely expect at this point, develops into a melodic metal composition moving forward. As clean vocals swim around the sheer heaviness, bright and screeching melodic guitar leads solo away, before a light-hearted acoustic guitar figure brings down the curtain. It’s more ‘metal’ than ‘core’ but it goes down smoothly; a personal piece about understanding and accepting one’s sexuality, something I dealt with when I was a younger man.
EP finisher, the mental-health and growth-focused ‘Marbled Regression,’ was the first taste people received of ‘You’ll See Me Up There.’ Frankly, whomever in the band or on their team pushed for this killer track to be the lead single deserves an extra pat on the back and a bigger cut of the barely three-digit metalcore money-pot. This is the moment of the EP; the finest work of this band’s young lifespan thus far. What else can I say except for that it’s fucking sick! It’s very familiar to all of the artists that came before them, the ones that Thirty Nights would’ve taken extensive notes on, but I’ll be damned if it’s not a whole lot of fun. ‘Marbled Regression‘ is perhaps the greatest distillation of what this band does, what they can do, and how far they’ll potentially go over time. The tried-and-true but breathtaking breakdowns, the songs’ breakout energy, the sheer urgency in how everything moves, guitarists James Chatham and Kelly Cook’s awesome balance of filthy chugging and captivating melodic fret-board work, and Ethan’s propulsive percussion that drives the song along. If you’re still unfamiliar with TNOV, go listen to this red hot banger first and then consume the remainder of this robust EP. Thank me later.
‘You’ll See Me Up There’ is Thirty Nights Of Violence stepping up and improving on all that came before it with ‘To Die In Your Portrait’ (2018.) I wasn’t a fan of that first EP but this sophomore release has pierced my attention something fierce. It’s another strong release riding high on the tsunami wave of late ’90s and early 2000’s metalcore that is currently drowning and covering heavy music of late. Of course, this latest Thirty Nights Of Violence effort is completely derivative from the multitude of artists that came before them and their peers who they share this very same scene with. With deeper experimentation of the genre-splicing in the title track and ‘Lost In Your Light,’ and furthering how much metal, punk and hardcore they sift through on any given song, Thirty Nights Of Violence could very well become a huge deal for these fiery brands of fearsome metallic hardcore and metalcore revivalism once a full-length rolls around. I await that with eager excitement as I air-punch through ‘You’ll See Me Up There’ in the interim.
Lost In Your Light
You’ll See Me Up There
‘You’ll See Me Up There’ is out now: