[ALBUM REVIEW] ROADS TO NOWHERE – LIFELESS

Your favourite new deathcore band have arrived with their long awaited debut album.

It’s been a long time coming for the West-Country’s deathcore giants Roads to Nowhere, after six long years the band have released their debut album: Lifeless.

The Album’s opening track The Artist provokes a very dark and mysterious feeling before breaking into a classic and authentic deathcore sound. This has been one of Roads to Nowhere’s defining features over the years, the quality of Tim Toon’s vocals makes them some of the most harrowing and brutal on the record, it definitely sets the standard for what is to follow.

The next few tracks Left Alone and Unforgivable really highlight what the band have been trying achieve over the three years since 2013’s Dead World EP. Finding the perfect concoction of electronic sounds to back up the haunting scenes, that the band try to convey through their music. Unforgivable especially stands out with its Mike Tyson like hard-hitting drops and explosive drums, that blend together perfectly to create something that is the audio equivalent to a kick in the teeth (but in a good way) at times it almost feels like the music hits you so hard that it winds you a little, this shows the lengths the group have gone to in terms of production quality and mastering.

Many fans will be delighted to see Beneath amongst the track list, a song that has survived the many years of Roads to Nowhere, it is almost a special dedication to the followers who have supported the band from their early roots. Despite being a rejuvenation of an older song, it fits perfectly in place with the new songs and its lyrics are some of the most brutal on offer. “You will fall, down to the depths, I’ll see you rot, turned to a blackened corpse” time and time again, this group really set the standard for British underground deathcore, the tracks fast paced yet doomy riffs grip you by the throat as if the song’s destructive lyrics were directed right at you.

Street Case Murder which was one of the first songs to be released as a single, is one of the record’s true jewels. The use of a siren from the outset sets the scene perfectly for the chaotic and rampageous feelings that the track incites, the use of programmed drums and other electronic accents really adds an extra layer of intensity. This matched with the perfectly layered vocals, combining gut-wrenching lows with banshee like highs, as well as the use of gang like backing vocals, really draws out everything that is good about Roads to Nowhere.

One of the most interesting entries on the album Life of Nothing shows that the band can take a step back from all the madness and unmerciful screams when they need to and deliver something a little different, the theme of the song seems to be about a struggle through life and the problems that come with it, a chorus of clean vocals really sets this song apart from most on the album, showing how adaptable the band can be, it really sets them apart from a lot of bands in the same genre, that only focus on having the best toilet-bowl growls or the doomiest drops, it really reaches out to the listener and builds a connection on a more personal level.

Although Life of Nothing was one of the albums lighter notes, it is just the calm before the storm that is Walls. if I had to rate this track on its heaviness out of ten, I would rate it a solid twelve for its cruel and unforgiving content. Throwing you straight back in to this colossal, relentless and unyielding ride, which would be similar to someone with a phobia of rollercoasters, riding a rollercoaster designed by Jigsaw from the Saw series. It displays some of the most captivating and dark moments of the record and is a true triumph.

As the album progresses closer and closer to the end, Life:Mind featuring Kyle Bihrle from Rochester, New York’s Sirens and Sailors shows that two talented and relentless vocalists are better than one, with a perfect combination of styles from the pair that really push the boundaries and creates something that is quite uncommon in the scene today.

Closing the album, Redemption wraps the up the album with one last unforgiving goodbye. The beginning provokes an almost bittersweet feeling, a mixture of quiet thrash like guitars with electric piano and drums driving over it, the lyrics seem to cover a journey through life in Roads to Nowhere and the band comparing themselves to their supporters. This creates a sense of family and community within the groups fan base and with the listener directly.

Overall this album is one of the strongest debut albums from an unsigned band that I have heard this year. The band have been on an extremely long and challenging journey to reach this point in their lives and all the blood, sweat and tears that has gone through getting there has been encompassed perfectly within this record. They are a credit to the underground and they set the standard for what new bands should aspire to be today, not only in terms of the quality of their music, but also their attitude and consistency.

 

Words by Rob McKelvey

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