Review: The Bearer's Chained to a Tree (Silent Pendulum)
Austin metalcore trio tightens the restraints
As extremity splinters into so many subgenres even Bruce Springsteen can rattle off two dozen, hardcore punk maintains the middle – feeds the everyman. And that dude is pissed. So steams Austin trio the Bearer, three EPs in since 2016 and fully unbound on full-length bow Chained to a Tree. Lyrically enlightened, compositionally uncluttered, primitively aggro, the LP represents via cleverly bookish video "Jagged Lines," which Decibel magazine pinpointed as a "portal" to 1998, citing Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge: "The Bearer were born from that (Molotov) cocktail of rabid hardcore with a metallic edge." Less metal than their debut nor as brawny as follow-up Fiction, this obvious evolve from Adapt | Adjust grounds axe-wielder Michael Delaney, bassist Jeffrey Blum, and drummer/vocalist Colton Siegmund best. The latter's piquant cry on opener "Pushed Back In" builds to LP midpoint "Sympathy Pains" – wrenching, bleeding, torn – while "Jury of Oppressors" unleashes pure band fission and the excoriating catharsis of the title cut tightens its titular restraint until you split in half.