Honour Crest ‘Mufflers’ Review: Plenty of Potential

Virginia metalcore group Honour Crest almost made it almost impossible to listen to their LP. Their LP, “Spilled Ink,” which sounds like aggressive Slipknot, with hints of other groups such as Red or Cartel, was a bit tough the first listen around. And while they don’t satisfy, if you listen (closely) you’ll hear the potential.

The second track, “Djentle,” is anything but. The chords are strong, bass brings support, but there wasn’t much to be listened to outside of that, as the vocals were loudly muffled. It’s like listening to a rabid person yell with a mouth full of food. The lyrics couldn’t be heard clearly until the lighter side of the chorus later on. The arrangements make twists and turns, picking up and slowing down in speed, and although it’s perfected and shows the group’s skill, is very unnecessary. Not too sure how to feel listening to the track, no consistent emotional connection can be made.

The number three track, “Origin,” is just as bad. Wasting no time jumping into the grunge, the lead vocalist again muffles his words. That coupled with the demonic duet sampled as well as yet another unnecessary shift in arrangement speed makes the song flop. The group also tends to wind down a notch, becoming a little less ‘metal,’ if that makes any sense.

The fourth track, “Glaciers,” is pretty good, though. Honour Crest relies heavily on the electric guitar and vocals (finally) and stay within the genre rather than employing use of normal rock sounds. The song is somewhat enjoyable and fans of metalcore will come to enjoy its raging, aggressive tone. It sounds like it would be their signature song, powerfully equipped with a strange charm that’s unusually hard to shake, thanks to the combination of guitar, drums and bass.

The number nine track, “Eclipse,” is a favorite. More standard rock than metalcore, the group open with an airy, dramatic score before quickly jumping into the grunge. But they don’t stay there for long, as the chorus is sung rather than growled. The song is fast-paced, with a dangerously addicting blend of the respective instruments and attention can be paid to the lyrics, which are actually heard and suggest indifference in a relationship. For the most part, the song was woven well, starting slow, picking up and leading out perfectly. This track is pretty damn good.

The rest of the tracks were too “loud” for taste. The guitar solos and bass support would make one want to listen, but if you’re interested in good lyrics (and from what could be heard, there was good writing here), you won’t be satisfied. Other groups yell loudly but a bit clearer. If Slipknot can be heard, these guys can as well, so there’s no excuse.

As one that values lyrics as a major component of the song, it was quite a letdown as the lyrics were completely abandoned for a majority of the album. Surely the intent was to make a good metal record, but if you’re going to yell, a little clearer will do. Precise as the chords and arrangements may be, it would have been nice to listen to the words behind the passionate, furious yelling.

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