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Touché Amoré - Lament (Album Review)

Monday, 12 October 2020 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: George Clarke

With each new record Touché Amoré have reinvented themselves to a certain extent, whether that’s expanding their palette as they did between the release of the straight ahead ‘...To The Beat of a Dead Horse’ and ‘Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me’, or adding 4AD jangle to the mix on their pivotal third LP ‘Is Survived By’. 

But on 2017’s ‘Stage Four’ they stepped into a realm few hardcore bands had dared to inhabit before them, fusing Jeremy Bolm’s grief at the loss of his mother with vulnerable, dynamic, gut-wrenching instrumentals. The end result was one of the most sincerely affecting records of its time. Where next after something like that?

On ‘Lament’ they approach that question from a couple of angles. Bolm situates us in the here and now, describing the love in his life, airing some painful truths, and addressing how hard he finds it to have become an outlet for fans with similar life experiences behind them.

At each turn the music swells, slashes and soars, backing each barked hook with huge, cathartic releases.

Much has been made of Ross Robinson’s involvement as producer—mainly with nu metal side eye at his work with Korn and Limp Bizkit—but here he helps to bring out the texture and melodic nuance in Nick Steinhardt and Clayton Stevens’ guitars, perhaps serving to remind folks that he also produced ‘Relationship of Command’ for At The Drive-In and the first couple of Glassjaw records.

With Elliot Babin again hitting his drum kit with the fervour of a man possessed, Touché Amoré walk the wire between outright triumph and exhausted collapse. The heart and effort in the music is palpable, surging from Bolm’s lungs as his bandmates spiral off into obscure indie-rock corners. It’s hard to think of too many other bands in heavy music who are able to deliver such a thrilling rush of bloody emotions and measured songcraft.

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