The Angst In My Veins

Written by: AP on 01/10/2014 16:30:10

With their debut album “The Angst in My Veins”, Capsize add another link to the long chain of stateside melodic hardcore bands, whose weaponry consists primarily of drab, reverberating melodies arranged over metallic riffs and punk rhythms. Though my own encounters with decidedly poor practitioners of the genre are rare, the style has already been explored at such length that most of them sound virtually indistinguishable from one another, offering little personality and even less novelty to a genre that, like metalcore, has wound itself into a knot. For this impression, Capsize provide no counter argument with an assortment of songs aching for character, if still likely satisfying the requirements of the genre’s serial connoisseurs with ease.

Records like “The Angst in My Veins” are intrinsically difficult to critique, as they seldom disappoint in terms of the technical execution and short term appeal. But sit them next to the output of bands like Defeater, Modern Life is War or Verse - forward thinking bands that safeguard the relevance of the genre in the long run; and their shortcomings will stick out like a sore thumb. Capsize do hit their stride on a number of occasions across the album: most notably on track two “Pale”, held aloft by constant pace shifts and perennially morphing, anxiety ridden lead; as well as the successive title track, which incidentally features a cameo from Defeater’s Jay Maas and thus delivers much needed variety to the vocals of Daniel Wand. Bad enough his screams are stricken with monotony, he also has a tendency to opt for a technique of which former Northlane vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes is also guilty, namely that he often begins a sequence of lyrics from a clean yell, and then escalates it into a harsh scream. The result is not unlike a siren: a sharp increase in pitch, and then a more gradual recline. Repeat. It quickly becomes grating in tracks like “Numb” (around the 01:07 mark) and “Calming, Crippling” (towards the end), whatever the intention.

From an instrumental perspective too, “The Angst in My Veins” cripples itself by utilising the exact same mood and tone in every song. True the urgency and distress of it all, enlisted to the best effect on the haunting “Endless Emptiness” and “Tension” (which features guest vocals by No Omega’s Andreas Malm, and creates intrigue by its arrangement into a seamless fusion of punch, drag and contemplation), is proficient in conjuring feelings we all can relate to and has the capability to offer a kind of catharsis under certain circumstances where optimism seems like a foreign tongue. But with eleven consecutive tracks subscribing to this anguished sound, the full listening experience is exhausting. Credit to Capsize for their consistency, but could not the dejection have been explored from a greater variety of angles?

As solid and technically sound “The Angst in My Vein” is, then; it suffers from Capsize’s unwillingness to look past the formulaic ominous intro / d-beat discharge / guitars swirl into resonance / breakdown approach and thus bless themselves with a readily recognisable sound that cannot be mistaken for some other melodic hardcore band. Capsize are young band still, and given their skill of musicianship, this somewhat underwhelming debut could be the springboard toward greater things as they mature and develop.


Download: Pale, The Angst in My Veins, Endless Emptiness, Tension
For the fans of: Climates, Elephantis, Landscapes, Lay It on the Line
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.09.2014
Equal Vision

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