Heart Of A Coward

Album Review: Heart Of A Coward – Hope And Hindrance

In early 2011, Jamie Graham left Sylosis to join Heart Of A Coward, who after a few line-up changes are running with guitarists Carl Ayers and Steve Haycock, bassist Vishal Khetia, drummer Christopher Mansbridge. Having released an EP (The Dead Sea) in 2009, they seem to have set sights on taking over the metal scene.

Their first full-length album ‘Hope And Hindrance’ opens with an eerie guitar siren on ‘Motion’, before the brutal, calculated beats kick in. There are fists-full of djent, metalcore, and groove. Every song seems to have that one moment where you know for sure you’re entering the mosh pit.

Heart Of A Coward Hope And Hindrance ArtworkThere is a hint of cheekiness with song titles such as their claim-to-fame (so far) ‘Around A Girl (In 80 Days)’. Don’t let it fool you though; it’s as much of a show of technical prowess as it is unforgettable.

‘Light’ is most reminiscent of TesseracT, but it’s the only track that so easily allows for comparison and compartmentalisation. After all, they are just clenching fingers for when they pull several thousand punches on the crushing mammoth that is ‘Shade’. Each breakdown can just melt your face off, especially when you just wait for it to hit you.

‘And Only Time Will Tell’ features a dreamy guitar tone with Graham’s repeated warnings of “This time will be your last”. Mansbridge has bashed drumskins for Enter Shikari and Fellsilent, but with Heart Of A Coward, it is probably his most ambitious work.

They close with seven minutes and forty seconds of gnashing in a manner the Architects’ early work was best known for. They treat us to probably one of the longest breakdowns in metal. (Add prefix here)core riff-chugging and cymbal crashing, with distant djentle guitars.

Heart Of A Coward wants to take the next step ahead in metal, and there isn’t a single reason why they should be stopped. ‘Hope And Hindrance’ isn’t exactly a well-knit album (despite songs five through eight flowing beautifully), so you could pause it between songs and resume the tunes without much a problem. In fact, it might just be that you would need a breather after having this sometimes-overwhelming confrontation with Heart Of A Coward.

Rating – 8


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