Beartooth – ‘Aggressive’

By Jess Tagliani

It’s only been two short years since Beartooth released their debut album ‘Disgusting’ but the band have used those to quickly establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Clocking up shows and tours with the likes of Slipknot and Bring Me the Horizon, whilst appearing at Download and Reading & Leeds, the band have managed to find time to record the follow-up to their debut. ‘Aggressive’ is the result.

The title-track kicks the album off in fine style. Brutal riffs and disgustingly heavy breakdowns create a stormy, visceral opener. ‘Fair Weather Friend’ brims with power. Its monolithic riffs come together with Caleb Shomo’s stunning vocals, while ‘Burnout’ brings forth even more heavy-as-fuck breakdowns and is a guaranteed mosh-pit starter – it bursts with fierce adrenaline.

‘Hated’ is a huge anthem that simply screams for listeners to stick their middle fingers up at those who pushed them down for being who they are. Beneath the frenetic riffs and thunderous drum work, the lyrics are emotionally charged. Lines such as “But I am not your scapegoat anymore” are filled with passionate fire, creating a monster of a track that resonates with many. ‘Censored’ preaches a similar message. It’s a war cry, one about refusing to be anyone other than who you are. Raw, visceral guitar work and lyrics of “No one’s ever gonna censor me” create a furious track that’ll see venues being destroyed in next to no time.

However, the band also knows how and when to bring softer influences into their music, which greatly complements their heavy, bruising assaults. The introduction to ‘However You Want It Said’ is almost reminiscent of a pop record, whilst the chorus during ‘Find A Way’ is incredibly melodic and contains some delightfully catchy hooks.

‘King of Anything’ clocks in as Beartooth’s shortest track but it’s one of their strongest. It’s here, with the stripped back vocals, that Caleb demonstrates the height of his talent. His vocal range is staggering – the sharp-edged, clean vocals within this track are a stark and striking difference to his guttural screams. However, he shows exactly why he’s one of the best vocalists within the metalcore scene.

Throughout the entirety of ‘Aggressive’, it’s clear that Beartooth have stepped their game up a notch. The tracks that make up this album are about pushing onwards with life, about moving forwards. The band consistently crush speed and aggression together to churn out energetic, cathartic tracks that are honest, raw, and brutal. It’s both an emotive and exhilarating release, one that’ll make venue walls drip with sweat.

JESS TAGLIANI

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