On Broken Wings – Disintegrator


Album

Disintegrator

Label

Artery Recordings

Year

2016

Genre

For Fans Of

The Acacia Strain, Bury Your Dead, Black My Heart

Summary

Dun Dun-Dun Dun-Dun Dun Dun Dun

Rating

69 / 100

Oh, what’s that? You not familiar with On Broken Wings? We might just leave this clip of ‘Frozen Over’ from their seminal record, ‘It’s All A Long Goodbye’ right here for you to educate yourself with. Done listening? Great! Now please find below the “Mid-2000’s Hardcore Checklist“, for your own personal use:

  • Dog-tags: check.
  • Side fringe: check.
  • Grainy as fuck video with a barely comprehensible story-line: triple check.
  • Crafter jackets’: check.
  • Dude wearing ‘grillz’: check.
  • Breakdowns: many, many checks.

Now that you’re well-acquainted and can avoid looking like a scene poseur, we can dispel with the orientation. It’s been a long, long time between drinks for Boston’s On Broken Wings. After a run of releases in the mid-2000’s, culminating with ‘Going Down’ in 2007, the group has lay dormant for close to eight years. But fear not! 2016 is the year of the comeback, and just like a telegraphed breakdown, you know exactly what’s coming your way. On Broken Wings are back, reformed and reloaded with a brand new shiny record: ‘Disintegrator’.

When it comes to the band’s music, fancy musical terms or in-depth, critical analysis just ain’t necessary. They were a ‘moshcore’ band in 2006, and low-and-behold they’re still a ‘moshcore’ band in 2016. Seeing no real need to fuck with that formula, what their newest effort represents is the metalcore five-piece doubling down on their desire for maximum heaviness and pit-activation, and achieving that goal in the most derivative yet enjoyable way possible. Getting down to business, ‘Disintegrator’ sports many of the charms that made their back catalogue so appealing over a decade ago: controlled bursts of dissonant aggression (‘Kunomuia’), crushing beatdown sections (‘Dragging Weight’), cheeky pinch harmonics (‘Dirt Nap’), the occasional melodic lick (‘Crowns Meant For Kings’), and of course, those super obnoxious slo-mo breakdowns (‘Ego Ideal’).

Are there some awkward bits? For sure. Those weird, not-quite-right cleans pop up on otherwise great tracks like ‘Quicksand Breaths’ and ‘Rubik’s Cube Obsession’, for no other reason than to seemingly detract from the impact of driving rhythms and double-kick blasts. While intro track ‘The Procession’ has a god-damn baby crying over the top of a monotonous beatdown… Something so gratuitous that Emmure would probably be satisfied with it (look, nu-metal posturing and Frankie Palmeri’s bat-shit behaviour aside, ‘Goodbye To The Gallows’ is still a guilty pleasure of mine). There are also far too many “interlude” tracks than an 11-track album should be legally allowed to have. We’re looking at you guys, ‘The Swamp’, ‘The Garden’ and ‘The Box’.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything on offer here that rivals fan favourites like ‘Suffer’ or ‘Like Starscream’, and the much joked about ‘fourth-times-a-charm’ cover of ‘I Do My Crosswords In Pen’ is noticeably absent as well. However, ‘Disintegrator’ does show a band that’s conscious of what they can do, how to do it well, and feeling absolutely no desire to deviate from that blueprint. So some credit is due here purely for their consistency.

Conclusion

In terms of a comeback album, ‘Disintegrator’ makes it’s purpose clear from the get-go: It’s nothing but an incessant breakdown party up the front and the absence of superfluous bullshit at the back. In their latest effort, On Broken Wings have crafted the sonic equivalent of that tenth beer you had when you were getting on the piss once. Is it dissimilar from the beers that preceded it? Nope! Is that lack of diversity and originality going to stop you from enjoying said beer and having a wild time? You bet your camo arse it won’t! Will you likely regret having it when the moment passes and that eventual hangover drops you dead on the floor? Highly likely! Replace beer and hangovers with ignorant metalcore and mosh fatigue, and you have yourselves a fitting analogy, my friends. As a great man once said, “In the pit.”

Tracklisting

  1. The Procession
  2. Quicksand Breaths
  3. The Swamp
  4. Dragging Weight
  5. Rubik’s Cube Obsession
  6. Kunomuia
  7. Crowns Meant For Kings
  8. The Garden
  9. Dirt Nap
  10. The Box
  11. Ego Ideal

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