Conquerors - Hand In The Clouds (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hand In The Clouds (2014)


Conquerors bring it and bring it hard. This Indianapolis ensemble has been grinding since 2012 and they've shifted more from an alternative hardcore sound to the basic dirtiness of plain, ol' hardcore. It's noisy, gritty and innately packed in with layers of Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God, that pop up much more than you'd expect influences to. It's not copying but again, too much homage isn't that flattering. Nonetheless, it's pretty decent and worth the hit up.

"Dark Days" stream the blood, sweat and tears of the pit as it's steeped in very heavy hardcore. It kicks off with riffing a la Manson's "Sweet Dreams" before a Killswitch vibe starts hammering away at your eyes. The transition's good and the change of pace towards a heavier treatment is beastly and palpable, much like the incessant drumming and grabbing double-kicks. A nu-metal feel springs up a la Korn, Slipknot and Deftones on the ensuing "50/50" that comes into its own with an unexpected medley of power-metal solos. It's a breath of fresh air that's further elaborated on in the interlude "Cresendo". Picking guitars, subtle pianos and a nice shoegaze tempo hint at a black-metal sound that's teased but never fully explored.

The closers traipse more on primary hardcore and gruff screamo effects but the mixed vocals temper the record fittingly. "Neck Deep" glosses over a few guest artistes such as Danny Adams and Aaron Rice, as the group sheds off a more raging element. With influences from Advent and Have Heart, the album never slows down but some repetitiveness does precipitate now and then. It aims to emotionally captivate melodic hardcore in the modern age and it does keep you on your toes but a tad bit more versatility could have swung this record just north of three. As I said, it's decent and loaded with promise but some work's needed.