Throwing Bricks take the listener by storm in the emotional onslaught of What Will Be Lost
Throwing Bricks' debut full-length What Will be Lost assaults the senses, an unrelenting barrage of seething pain and anger. Hailing from Utrecht, Netherlands, the 5-piece combine their roots in punk and hardcore with darker elements of doom and sludge to conjure a bleak and cutting new sound.
The album deals with the subject of fear and loss, reflecting on how we come to terms with death. Throwing Bricks show a great level of depth behind the outward tone of anger on What Will Be Lost, they describe the overall feel to be "emotionally punishing."
Opening with What Will Be Lost, Won't Happen Again, the vocals are filled with regret, as the track reflects on relationships lost and what could have been done differently. In this sense, the album starts on a melancholy note. This is reflected in the rhythmic melody of the intro, which gives way to slow seething vocals and cyclic sludgy riffs you can't help but nod your head to. Words cut deep as vocalist, Niels Koster, cries out bitterly "what have I done?" Of all the lyrics to this track, this is the real take-away, the sense of regret. Towards the end of the track, the bands punk roots shine through, as the fast paced drumming moves more towards a hardcore sound.
Thematically, The Day He Died feels like an important track underpinning the themes of the album, as it looks head on at how we confront the anniversary of someone's death. This track is driven by the low rumble of the bass-groove that is present throughout. At times this groove is reminiscent of classic heavy metal, often crossing over into doom metal, to produce a sound that exists somewhere between Black Sabbath's self-titled and the heavier, more visceral tone of Amenra. The brief scaled- back intermission in the centre of the track, which consists of only bass and guitar, serves to accentuate the heavy pounding of the drums that surround it.
In some ways, this album feels like it was designed with an audience mind. It has a raw energy about it that lends itself to crushingly heavy live performances that should only increase in magnitude with the success of this release.
Constant Failure kicks in with a relentless barrage of blast beats; a wall of sound. The vocals on this track feel true to the words of vocalist Colin H Van Eeckhout of Amenra, as quoted below:-
"A scream needs to hurt," Van Eeckhout explains. "A scream needs to come from within. When something in the street happens, and you hear a genuine scream, everybody stops, everybody looks around and brings the world to a halt. That is the function of a scream. That is why people should scream on music, to address certain feelings from within that every human being has. Every human being has moments in life where he wants to scream out loud and lose it.” - Revolver https://www.revolvermag.com/
There is something therefore so important about this kind of music, it is disarming. For the listener, there is no choice but to drop what they're doing and engage with the raw emotion they are hearing. There is catharsis to be found here on both sides.
Ceremony arrives as a change of pace, though a pause in the wall of sound, this drone and noise track still provides an assault on the senses. The track feels like a vast expansive wasteland, providing a sharp contrast to other more rage-driven tracks on the album.
The juxtaposition moving from Ceremony to Patterns Rise makes the latter feel even heavier as it drops in.
Whilst being the shortest on the album, Glass Queen proves to be my personal favourite, with it’s opening riff arguably being both the heaviest and most melodic on the album, evoking to some degree a style reminiscent of post-metal legends Cult of Luna. Thematically, this track stands as an outlier to the theme of the album. When questioned on the motivation behind this track, Niels cited it to have been inspired by The Kingdom (Riget) a Danish horror mini-series which aired in the early 90's.
Like Ceremony, the penultimate track Galling acts to punctuate some of the heavier tracks on the album. The opening of this track is more intimate and melancholy, a moment of sad beauty amongst the pain and anger that permeates this record. As the piercing vocals return, the listener is hit by a profound sense of the sadness underlying the anger. This track feels like a culmination of the bitter build of rage that has been accumulating since the onset of What Will Be Lost.
The final track of the album, Ready To Fall was released as the first single. This feels like a true representation of the band’s sound. Ready To Fall is a bleak dirge, showing beauty in sorrow through its contrast of heavy marching rhythm and warm melodic lead guitar. The song is cited by Niels to have originated in a fever dream. The luminescent mind-bending trip that the track's music video, by Jordi van Putten takes us on, may also be a result of that dream.
Overall, the band seem to have grown in both diversity of sound and thematic concepts since their previous release. Since releasing Self-Distancing as their third independent release in 2016, Throwing Bricks have honed their craft to create their most ambitious offering yet!
What Will Be Lost was released on Limited edition Cassette Tape and on digital formats by Tartarus Records on May 15th 2020.
Go grab a copy at the links below!