The first time I listened to Death of Beauty by Milk White Throat it scared the crap out of me. I didn’t notice that the volume of speakers were up to about as far as you can have them and the first song “Death Of Beauty” starts out with the lead singer screaming the title of the song at the top of his lungs, while the drums crash and the guitarist plays a lead part that sounds similar to “Eruption.”
The four-piece consisting of Tom Bates, Guillaume Croizon, Tom Humphrey and Brian Thomas continues with that same intensity for the majority of the album. From a technical perspective this album is pure candy. Some of the guitar parts and drums parts in particular you can take straight to the bank. Even if you aren't a fan of the songs there is no denying these guys are skilled musicians.
Luckily, for myself and I’m sure for many others the songs deliver. I’m pretty critical when it comes to hardcore bands but Milk White Throat does it right. It’s because they implement a wide range of diversity and don’t succumb to clichés. Their style and approach is original and delves into experimental, unconventional territory that I applauded and enjoyed.
Opener “Death of Beauty” is covered in sick, intense guitar playing. The guitars cross and intersect each in a mad adrenaline rush that is only intensified by the never-ending fills from the drummer. It builds and builds until it breaks and the band slows down the BPM with piano and a sustained hum.
A lone piano piece “Prelude to Downfall” is a minute-long breather before the intensity of “Downfall.” As impressive as “Downfall” was it wasn’t until “Of Your Own Volition” that I was completely taken by their level of creativity. On “Of Your Own Volition” I started to realize this isn’t your typical hardcore band. Just take a listen to the bubbly vertigo-inducing guitar during the verse or their ability to get in you face and then get soulful.
“Permanent Exposure” is arguably the most hardcore song on the album. It reminded me of Blood Brothers at times when the vocalist shreds his vocals chords. Do not pass this one up.
You want to talk about a great way to close an album - this is it. They close with a sixteen-plus minute epic entitled “The Compass Points Down.” The song starts off soft and warm with a piano and vocals and builds from there. It’s a dynamically diverse roller coaster ride that takes you for a ride.
One of the most impressive aspects besides the songs themselves is the production. With this much noise you need to have stellar production or it will fall apart. Luckily, it does that which is all the more impressive since the band produced it themselves. Death Of Beauty is an album you can’t listen to passively. It’s intense, in your face and won’t be something you can ignore.
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