Achilles "Hospice"

"Hospice", the sophomore full-length from Achilles (on Hex Records), sees the band continually evolving with their brand of rhythmic, angular – and now increasingly melodic – material, which just keeps getting better as far as I'm concerned. Few tracks top three minutes, and the entire album's only about a half-hour long, so they really keep things moving and leave no room for stalling out. The staples of the band's sound remain firmly intact in terms of aggressive yells breaking through diverse layers of chunky guitar work and a rhythmically pulsing backbone, and there are still plenty of controlled yet chaotic guitar textures and that kind of thing, but there's also more of a dissonant post-hardcore angle happening with a lot of the chord phrasings and arrangements. There are a hell of a lot of twists and turns here, though, so the song structures don't necessarily come across as more streamlined or anything, they just seem to be tapping into a slightly more energetic sensibility that works together with the fluidity of the transitions to maintain the momentum of the album. And shit, I guess they're just progressing as songwriters, which makes perfect sense, so there are some real fuckin' gems on this thing, I can say that much. Killer recording, too. Everything sounds nice and natural with a crisp mix that really utilizes space and breathing room – which lets the distinct basslines take a focal role on occasion, and I'm always a fan of that.


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