I don’t know about you, but it’s been a year and a half since Life’s Ill released “Still Ill” and that damn riff is still stuck in my head. So hearing the five-piece had new music coming out, well that just had me feeling really excited.
After a relatively quiet period without music, the hardcore crew hailing from South-West Sydney are gearing up to release their brand new three-track What God Wouldn’t Tell You. Releasing on the 14th of February (Happy Valentine’s Day kids), the question remains; will it be the perfect first date or the dinner from hell?
This year your date is with Max (vocals), Yanni (bass), David (guitar), Filip (guitar) and Jarrod (drums).
What God Wouldn’t Tell You begins in the most harrowing of fashions. Tasting Dread fades in as dauntingly low piano notes play accompanied only by spoken word vocals. Like an episode of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids, the listener is immediately thrown into a horror scene, it feels like you’re pacing down a hall with only a flickering light to keep you from the dark.
Suddenly, the light goes out, and through piano notes the roar of the beast shatters the darkness. The song explodes unexpectedly as Max’s fierce vocals take centre stage, every syllable of “This is what God wouldn’t tell you, I knew you wouldn’t push through” smashes through you with more force than Jack Nicholson’s axe in The Shining.
Genuinely shaken from the EP’s opening, the following song feels a lot more like what I was expecting from the group. Maintaining the intimidating mood built by the first track, “I Refuse Love” builds slowly before erupting into a fury of double kicks, riffs and unrelenting screams.
Released as a single, the track fits an enormous amount in despite its short two-minute run time including the customary (but much appreciated) breakdown. Lyrically it fits the already established tone, and the self-denigration is expressed through both angered and pained vocals. It is dark and unnerving, but it works.
From its opening moments, the closing track “Death Benefit” screams Life’s Ill to its core. Clocking in at just over three minutes, the song is the longest on the release but it undeniably maintains a merciless intensity throughout that barely gives listeners a second to breathe. Like its preceding track, the song achieves a lot despite a short run time including, you guessed it, another VERY good breakdown.
All in all, the EP is a huge step up for Life’s Ill. After a long break without new music, the three-track is sure to sustain fans for the time being. If you’re a fan of punching your friends in the head, then band’s frantic and unrelenting brand of hardcore is for you.
So, what kind of Valentine’s date is What God Wouldn’t Tell You? I’d say like a midnight walk through a graveyard it’s a dinner from hell. But that’s exactly what it’s meant to be.
Come on guys, six and a half minutes? I need (want) more than that. While fantastic, the release ends right as it really pulls you in. Maybe they’re trying to leave people wanting more, and if that’s the case- they succeeded.
The boys are back, and with their merciless brand of hardcore they’re not pulling punches. The riffs are tight, the breakdowns make me want to break stuff, what more could you want?