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Heart of a Coward - SeveranceMilton Keynes in the United Kingdom isn’t instantly recognised for producing rock bands.  Yet here we have a five-piece that cite Deftones, Meshuggah and Crowbar amongst several influences.  When you place the cyber-stylus to the virtual spinning vinyl called Severance, words like ‘brutal’, ‘intense’ and ‘emotive’ spring to mind.

This is their second studio album, containing ten songs which swirl around the head sharing their disdain and their hopes of personal growth.  Naturally they steer clear of anything resembling a ballad, and focus on various ways to express their observations of those around them.

Prey retains a quirky charm within the instrumentation as it both assaults the ears and contains a bounce which is infectious.  Distance disguises a strong melody in the mix as jagged guitars battle with each other and the rage motions to the surface, while Deadweight crushes the senses with snapping growl of Jamie Graham.

Severance isn’t an album for the light-hearted.  Graham summarized the positive side of this album within their lyrical output by saying “Be your own master.  Aspire, but do not obsess.  Real success is not measured by others.”  Stating in a typically annoyed fashion with shredding vocals at the beginning of Mirrors, “We will overcome, we will scream from the top of our lung” before the song becomes a pummeling weapon of intent.  The unexpected chorus complete with a haunting atmosphere really makes this track a highlight, along with Psychophant which excellently shares with the listener their harsher side.

Moments like Eclipsed, which inject atmosphere into the proceedings assist in making Severance an album that filters various textures in a canvas that could so easily be one-dimensional.  It won’t be a mainstream mega-selling album any time soon, but that isn’t what this band is about.  If you’re looking for powerful displays of aggression with some intelligence, then Severance might be worth your while inspecting.

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