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  • Album of the Week: Sworn In

    Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:17:01

    Album of the Week: Sworn In -

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    The Lovers/The Devil is a modern metal milestone.

    Sworn In take Album of the Week with their second full-length The Lovers/The Devil. The Grayslake, IL quintet consisting of Tyler Dennen on vocals, guitarists Zakary Gibson and Eugene “Gene” Kamlyuk, bassist Derek Bolman, and drummer Chris George work towards a reinvention of that much-scribed about crossover of metal and hardcore that’s defined 21st century heavy music so far. On the follow-up to 2013’s The Death Card, the group manage to augment succinctly sharp metal with a jarring hardcore punch.

    At the same time, an element of schizophrenic Slipknot-style melody seeps in at all the right moments, making The Lovers/The Devil a far more frenetic, furious, and focused affair than its predecessor. Killswitch Engage perfected this hybrid in the early aughts, and now Sworn In stand out as the first group to take it a new direction.

    This isn’t just European-style riff fests with a dollop of moshpit bounce in the middle. This is something far more intriguing. “Sweetheart” begins with a haunting harmony and clean guitar before the chaotic neck-snap charge of the cheekily titled “Sugar Lips.” At the same time, “I Don’t Really Love You” volleys between a vicious guitar and a starkly searing croon. If you haven’t heard Sworn in, the best way to picture them is if Killswitch Engage grew up on Slipknot and My Chemical Romance instead of At the Gates. That’s a shimmering compliment too as they could definitely lead this genre in the coming years. That’s the most evident on the record’s closing salvos the epic “Sour” and “Love Drunk,” which add a dynamically explosive conclusion to this roller coaster.

    Heavy music is in a funny place right now. It’s more fractured than ever before. Sub-genres literally have sub-genres. However, there are a select few bands peering their heads above the noise and really doing something significant and different. Sworn In is leading that pack. The Lovers/The Devil will be remembered as a milestone for the next phase of the genre.

    Rick Florino

    Sworn In's The Lover/The Devil is out now. Get it at iTunes!

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