I’m gonna start this review with a bold statement; Employed To Serve are the best heavy band in the UK in recent years. Their debut album ‘Greyer Than You Remember‘ was a crushing as fuck collection of doomy riffs and hardcore breakdowns with a death-metal intensity that blew my head off back in 2015.
Needless to say that the announcement of a second album earlier this year got me very excited. Lead single ‘I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away)‘ heightened my anticipation to the max, boasting the best head banging riff EVER and a breakdown that was so brutal it made me want to put my head through my computer screen! So yeah, as you can imagine, I am going into this new album with the highest of expectations!
As expected, this record fucking rips! It retains all the elements of its predecessor but pushes them further, which makes for an even more earth shattering piece that is equal parts epic and hammering. Although opening track ‘Void Ambition‘ starts off with some techy guitars and lightning bolt drumming, there seems to be a more general sense of control with the writing on here, and the band really let the riffs and breakdowns pummel into your ears.
Of course, each tune is packed with tons of ideas and dramatic shifts (‘Lethargy‘ is the most wonderful head fuck of a track) but I think that there has been more of a conscious effort to make some head-banging bangers, which I’m all for. In allowing this, the band make for some of their heaviest onslaughts yet, from the snarling, gnarly riffage of ‘Platform 89‘ to the gut punching, vomit inducing beat-down of ‘Good For Nothing‘.
The second half of the record taps into the bands more melodic, expansive side with tracks like ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun‘ and ‘Half Life‘ coming to the most euphoric and climactic conclusion, while closing track ‘Apple Tree‘ acts as their most ballad-like moment to date. It combines beautiful clean vocals and spoken word to finish the album in the most devastatingly beautiful way. I think they’ve tapped into another side of their heaviness on this track and it’s very intriguing to see if this is something they expand on in the future.
The Warmth Of A Dying Sun sees Employed To Serve angrier and heavier for some gloriously furious results. It goes in harder and deeper than before, taking them up to new realms of power and cements my early statement of them being the UK’s most powerful proposition in heavy music right now.