Hull’s finest come of age

It is interesting that in an age where the whole southern rock thing is so far back in fashion, that there’s never really a British band to rival Pantera or Lamb Of God.

Clearly comparisons with the former have other connotations than brilliant music these days given the type of crap that their former frontman does onstage, but the fact remains that those albums they made when he was together with Dimebag are as good as it gets. In the last few years Randy Blythe’s boys, since they decided that death metal was a touch restrictive and issued their motherfucking invitation, have taken on the mantle.

Now, from the perhaps unlikely spot of Hull, come a British band with designs on that type of sound – kinda.

It’s not that Sworn Amongst are a new band – their first EP emerged over a decade ago – but it has been six years since their last full-length, the stellar “Severance” record and it seems that their time away has been well spent.

Everything on “Under A Titan Sky” is slightly up a notch from what happened before. The opener “Wraith” would probably welcome some Meshuggah comparisons – it deserves them too – and throughout Sworn Amongst are a little heavier, a little more focussed and a little more angry than they’ve been elsewhere.

“Torn Asunder” is perhaps the first one to really make you sit up and take notice. The Lamb Of God-isms are most definitely there, but there’s a viciousness in the breakdowns that could put this on Tech Metal territory pretty easily, and there is definitely crossover potential here.

“Degradation Genesis” crushes everything in its path and then returns to salt the earth just to make sure and the riffs here are humongous, while Sy James has got pissed off vocals down to a fine art. If there’s not much in the way of a plan B here, then arguably its because plan A is bang on target, the title track is one of the tightest attacks known to man anywhere so far this year and you’d imagine the superb “Ruins Of Our Own Construction” will whip up a moshpit of epic proportions wherever it goes.

The ten tracks here never really stray from the path of creating something that would glass you in the face at a moments notice and but some light and shade is provide by the instrumental “Laments” although even that sounds ominous before opting to cut loose. Elsewhere though, things rather take the view that there’s a lot wrong with the world and “….Sky” might as well provide the soundtrack – something it does wonderfully on “The Resistance”.

“Under A Titan Sky” feels like a statement, it feels like the work of a band who know they’ve been away too long, and on “Through The Eyes Of The Decimat” for example wants to make up for lost time – and there is the thought here and there that if all those groove metal bands had from America had been raised on Yorkshire Puddings rather than barbecue then they’d sound just like this.

Ending with furious indignation on “Low” you get the feeling that Sworn Amongst know that they’ve got the chance to capitalise on what has always been potential. With “Under A Titan Sky” they might just have come of age and don’t appear to fancy being held back.

Pretty hostile, as someone nearly said once.

Rating 8.5/10

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