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8 out of 10
Gallows, love them or hate them, have dragged British hardcore kicking and screaming into the eye of the mainstream and their success is almost certain to rub off on more up and coming bands from a scene that waddles from the exceptional to the mundane. Depending on your viewpoint this will either be construed as a great thing or something that is going to dilute a genre you love. But none of this matters to More Than Life, a passionate five piece from Frome who "thrive on interacting with their fans in a live environment" as they are keen just to make the music that means the most to them and this is where, right on cue, their new EP Brave Enough To Fail comes in.
Opener Aperture shows that More Than Life have more than a touch of the epic at their finger tips and more than a passing resemblance to Modern Life is War. This slow churn is swiftly vanquished by Faceless Name which jumps in like November Coming Fire swinging fists at Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare (delete as honesty permits). Mixing fiendish finger tapping with a good honest chug on In Hindsight throws More Than Life into the Gallows shaped bag that mixes British hardcore ala The Legacy and label mates Dead Swans with the American chug masters of Bane, Throwdown and Terror. The energy and frenzy practically sprints out of the speakers and even the most hardened of slow motion doom purveyors would find it hard not to air drum to this gutsy display. Whilst More Than Life aren't breaking any fences down into untrodden land, they are succinctly giving it their all and with the sort of vocals that sound like Tetsuya Fukagawa tearing himself a new larynx, you can already tell that their upcoming shows are going to be nothing short of frenetic.
In conclusion More Than Life chiefly are a young band trying to share their scars, perhaps a little prematurely considering the depth on display, in an exciting and mettlesome manner. Good stuff.
2. Faceless Name
3. In Hindsight
4. Never Ender
5. Brave Enough To Fail