Ring of Bone
review published: 12/8/2016
Years End are a melodic hardcore group based in West Virginia and Ring of Bone is the quintet's debut full length.
Ring of Bone begins with "War Town," a track that sets the pace for the record. The band gets right to it, kicking off the song with its hook, a catchy chorus yelled over a loud melodic section. The song then snakes its way through heavier metallic hardcore grooves and riffs before it quietly fizzles out.
Things pick up as "Stargazer" moves into a more upbeat hardcore sound. As the song plows ahead, Years End find themselves incorporating bouncier, moshable riffs, avoiding the catchiness of the opening track. The band seems to work better in this heavier mode, smoothly transitioning between sections.
Tracks like "The Only Living Boy in the Mid-Atlantic" and "Sans Armour" continue to display the group's heavier side. The former speeds its way through its eighty-four second run time, bringing upbeat, double kick-driven grooves and a heavy breakdown, while the latter is based around a chunky bassline prior to a cleanly sung, melodic conclusion.
Years End never find themselves straying too far from the typical melodic metalcore sound, but they handle it well enough to keep things interesting. The vocalist shifts between yelled and screamed vocals with a touch of singing sprinkled throughout. "Locust Grove" showcases the bands ability to write an intriguing song, twisting and turning between upbeat melodies and heavier riffs with ease.
The heaviest moment of the record comes right at the conclusion of the album. Just as closer "I Saved Latin, What Did You Ever Do?" seems destined to follow suit with the rest of the records melodic-heavy-melodic structure, Years End move into a half time breakdown that fades out into feedback.
Bottom Line: Years End don't offer flashy guitar playing or complex song structures, but their self titled debut does contain some well written songs. In the stifling genre of melodic metalcore, Ring of Bone is executed tastefully enough to deserve a few spins.
Track Listing: 01. War Town 02. Stargazer 03. The Only Living Boy in the Mid-Atlantic 04. Old Hands 05. Black Lodge 06. Sans Amour 07. Indigo 08. Locust Grove 09. Prime 10. I Saved Latin, What Did You Ever Do?