19 Nov 2021 - Sebastian
Hardcore | Sharptone Records | Release date: 01 Oct 2021
Have you been hit by a sonic truck today? If not, maybe you should consider giving the debut of Dying Wish a listen. With Fragments of a Bitter Memory the Oregon newcomers deliver one of the best hardcore debuts in recent history.
From second one of ”Cowards Feed, Cowards Bleed” it becomes evident, that Dying Wish don’t take any hostages. With its running time of just 1:45 it gives the listener a great taste of what to expect from the album, but it does not reveal everything at once. What might be shocking for first time listeners: Yes this is a woman delivering the coarse screams – Emma Boster does an incredible job all throughout the album, as does every musician in Dying Wish. It is very refreshing to hear a female vocalist in a similar style as Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy). If the new Spiritbox album is too tame for your ears, this one definitely is on the other side of the harshness spectrum.
Most of the songs on this debut highlight a breakdown and, yes!, they are executed immaculately. Some of those might be a bit stereotypical like a cymbal crash just before the breakdown hits, but that does not take anything away from their heaviness. After three songs of relentless screaming, Emma shows another side to her vocals. She is not just able to deliver guttural screams, but also beautiful, clean vocals. In the following songs there are quite a few lines that get the clean treatment. Because of her mesmerizing voice and incredible singing, one might even wish for some more clean parts. The lyrics of Fragments of a Bitter Memory all tell personal and sometimes gut-wrenching stories. They speak of empowerment and equality, of justice and self-determination.
The sound of the album is very dark and heavy, without being just a mess of drums and guitars. Randy LeBoeuf (Trade Wind) is responsible for the mixing and mastering and it becomes quite clear, that he did some very heavy albums beforehand like Kublai Khan, Sentinels and The Acacia Strain. The drums sound phenomenal and one can easily distinguish every kick and every single snare hit. This also shows how good of a drummer Jeff Yambra is – his playing is intricate and drives the songs in an impressive way. Pedro Carrillo and Sam Reynolds on guitars also deliver a very strong performance, as does Andrew Le on bass.
Fragments of a Bitter Memory is an album for everyone who needs something heavy in their daily listening and Dying Wish are definitely a band that should be on your radar for the coming years.