Metalcore has moved from the shadows of its genesis of blending hardcore and metal to become a force to be reckoned with in the world of heavy music. Often particularly popular within younger fans new to metal, it’s a global concern these days.
Stepping into this bulging market is Belfast’s Man the Harpoons, who formed last year and released debut single ‘Time to Grow’ soon after. A year on and debut EP Pressure has been released. So, what does the Belfast version sound like exactly?
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly due to the genre’s popularity across the pond, is ‘American’. Vocalist Chris Byrne sings without a trace of a local accent, whether he is utilising his clean or screamed vocal style. EP opener and lead single ‘Time to Grow’ hits the ground running with screamed vocals from the first second, then follows the standard metalcore pattern of essentially screamed verses and clean choruses, with the ubiquitous breakdowns here and there. Second track ‘Dust’ sounds a bit more ‘radio rock’, with a catchy chorus and more clean singing.
The second half of the EP basically mirrors the first half, with ‘Just a Moment’ sounding very similar to track two and closing number ‘Pressure’ bearing a fair resemblance to the opening one, down to its Bring Me the Horizon sound and angsty lyrics.
Man the Harpoons have most definitely not tossed out the rulebook with their debut EP: this is standard metalcore, the sort regularly heard on Kerrang! TV and the Warped tour in the US. That said, they are good at what they do; the music is well written and played, vocalist Byrne has a good range and the rest of the band clearly know their way around their instruments. If metalcore is indeed a ‘gateway genre’ for youngsters to arouse curiosity and get them learning more about metal, then we say well done, Man the Harpoons.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Pressure▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Bring Me the Horizon ▶