The Unforgiving Reality In Nothing

MNRK Heavy
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Envy
02. Abyssal
03. I Am The Truth
04. Apostate
05. Ghost
06. Reflections
07. The Unforgiving Reality In Nothing
08. Loss (feat. Travis Worland)
09. Hopeless Solutions
10. Our Reality In Nothing

Stalwarts of the UK deathcore scene since the mid-noughties, TURIN (formerly known as THIS IS TURIN) have undergone a subtle but significant transformation. Observant folk will have noticed that deathcore has been mutating in all kinds of directions over the last few years, rehabilitating what was once a much-maligned sub-strain of heaviness and giving it a wholesale creative makeover. In accordance, TURIN have used that evolution as a springboard for something much more challenging and adventurous than the deathcore norm. Presented as a complete reset, "The Unforgiving Reality In Nothing" seeks to establish both a new way of doing things, and to redefine this band as one of the most distinctive in modern metal.

The key to TURIN's new sound is the sheer, visceral intensity that drives this leap into the semi-unknown. Opener "Envy" is certainly recognizable in terms of riffing style and arrangement, but there is an underlying atmosphere of spite and disquiet that enshrouds it, and a total disavowal of all the usual 'core cliches. The result is monstrously heavy, but oddly accessible, albeit in a ruthlessly downbeat and menacing way. "Abyssal" continues the assault, leaning into some more traditional, deathly guitar work, but still with that crushing aura of impending doom, partly expressed through sinister ambient tones pulsing in the background. When TURIN dive deeper into the poisonous treacle of metallic grimness, as they do on "I Am The Truth", their death metal influences become more pronounced, and a caustic hardcore edge seeps into the onslaught. Again, this is not a radical left-turn, but it brings an entirely new vibe to those familiar ingredients. Both grand and quasi-symphonic, "I Am The Truth" is also utterly filthy and bereft of light. TURIN sound utterly disinterested in repeating themselves or anyone else, and yet the catchiness and immediacy of these songs is hard to dispute. Wringing might and magic from these once monochrome tropes, they wield their newly found cutting edge throughout "The Unforgiving Reality In Nothing", stabbing home their emotional discordance with real venom.

At times, TURIN seem almost to be goading their peers to attempt something similar. "Apostate" is a textbook, symphonic deathcore song viewed through a cracked mirror. The machine-gun kicks and ghostly atmospherics are an anchor to the expected, but everything else about the song speaks of finessed distortions of well-worn ideas. Similarly, the title track detonates with death metal directness, but takes a perverse, circuitous route to its melodic, rabble-rousing payoff. Clanging church bells are particularly neat, apocalyptic touch. Even better, "Loss" (featuring ENTERPRISE EARTH frontman Travis Worland) is a runaway bulldozer of skewed brutality, with Worland and TURIN vocalist Darryl Jones bursting through walls of blastbeats, futuristic keys and toxic guitar scree, to deliver a vast, surging barrage of gothic majesty and scabbed-up squalor.

While defiantly left-field and inventive, "The Unforgiving Reality In Nothing" is such a classy, considered rebirth for these UK diehards that it will surely garner more acclaim and support than its often chilling contents might suggest. This is a seriously bleak and bruising record with a veritable shit-ton of charisma and some laudably incisive tunes. There may be no hope, but the infinite void now seems considerably more attractive.

Author: Dom Lawson
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