The Bearer's Chained to a Tree (Silent Pendulum)
Austin metalcore trio tightens the restraints
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Sept. 23, 2022
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.