Adrian Covelo: vocals
Pete Gimenez: guitar/vocals
Lorenzo Torrero: guitar
Alex Magnieto: keyboards
Jorge Parra: bass
Chus Villacanas: drums
4. Ignorance and Prejudice
6. Part Of Me
7. The Difference
8. Handmade Crown
9. Footsteps (feat. Hennie Garth from Beheard)
11. Part Of Me (acoustic)
Metalcore (or ‘melodic post-hardcore’, as some bands seem to be keen to describe themselves as): a genre more for youngsters than us grown ups? A sort of ‘gateway genre’ to draw people in to heavier music? Inoffensive and bland, or maybe just a bit crap? Whatever your opinion, it’s certainly growing exponentially, with new bands appearing seemingly on a daily basis, clad in skinny jeans, vest tops and ear tunnels and armed with blastbeats galore and enough breakdowns to fill Wembley Stadium.
One such band is Spain’s Retrace the Lines. The young (aren’t they always?) sextet formed in Valencia just a few years ago and released an EP entitled ‘The Broken Ones’ in 2013. After signing to Art Gates Records, they have released their debut full length ‘Handmade Crown’ in April this year.
The album begins with the strings and bells of tense intro ‘Fearless’ which leads directly into ‘Survivors’, which kicks off vocally with a really quite impressive ‘core roar. With a good mix of clean and screamed vocals, the song is frankly a mosher’s paradise, with its towering chorus and obligatory breakdown-y outro.
The entire album is basically textbook metalcore: no bad thing if that’s what you’re looking for. With shades of early Bring Me the Horizon (‘Aimless’, and the title track), Chelsea Grin (lead single ‘Portraits’ and ‘The Difference’) and even the bounce of Crossfaith mixed in with the djent and melody that metalcore has embraced of late, combined with some arm-waving clean sections and uplifting lyrics, Retrace the Lines have truly cracked the metalcore code.
The only time they falter is when they try and incorporate other elements, such as the unnecessarily lengthy ‘Footsteps’, which also features a rather distracting keyboard thread, the (again) overly long ‘Horizons’ (a 5.38 minute long metalcore song? You’re having a laugh), which also contains a rather protracted instrumental break, and the final number, an acoustic version of ‘Part of Me’, which is very nice and all but…why? One for the true fans only.
The end of the album aside, this is standard metalcore – you know what you’re going to get – but it’s both well produced and pulsing with the band’s real passion for what they do in every note, which lifts the album above the ordinary. This passion is particularly evident in the title track, with it’s BMTH ‘Blessed With a Curse’ vibe and excellent interplay between the two vocalists, resulting in the most melodic and interesting track here, whilst songs such as the ear-pummelling ‘Ignorance and Prejudice’ and the breakdown-fest of ‘The Difference’ conjure up images of a young moshpit going crazy, arms flailing and circle pits spontaneously erupting.
If you’re not a metalcore fan then you never be a Retrace the Lines fan – fact. If, however, you love modern metalcore then this album – and this band – will tick all the boxes for you.
REVIEW BY MELANIE BREHAUT