Ithaca | The Language of Injury | Album Review
Holy Roar Records
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
UK-based hardcore group Ithaca released their long-awaited debut full-length The Language of Injury, featuring a broad array of metal genres and thematic material.
The instrumental tones on this record are sludgy and thick. Songs like the title track and “Impulse Crush” utilize high-gain, downtuned guitars and booming double kicks, reinforcing a desolate tone apparent across the whole record. Nearly every tune—including the latter mentioned—contains particularly heavy, Djent-like sections that implement a level of progressive or math metal on top of the already destructive tones.
The vocals cover a wide breadth of colors as well. Tracks like “Slow Negative Order” have broad, sweeping vocal harmonies underscoring the main vocals, screamed in classical hardcore fashion. The screaming is solid and consistent throughout the entire record, even to a fault. The song “Secretspace” contains an uncharacteristically soft section with chiming guitar arpeggiations but also includes particularly brutal vocal delivery. The selection feels out of place and confounding, and similar instances of this confusing vocal delivery appear on the record.
The Language of Injury also includes interesting thematic material. Tracks like the aforementioned title track contain abstract, spiteful lyrics with plenty of emotion behind them. Ithaca defines their music as “emotional hardcore” on their Bandcamp page, a description perpetuated by the rawness of the vocal delivery and passionate lyrical content on this track and others (like “Youth vs Wisdom”).
Unfortunately, this lyrical aspect can’t rescue the album from regrettably repetitive sounding music and vocals, as the whole album starts to blend into one big wash of sound, without a variety of musical themes and ideas.