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Sworn In are an American metalcore band from Grayslake, Illinois.  The band was formed in 2011 comprising of vocalist Tyler Dennen, guitarists Zakary Gibson and Eugene Kamlyuk, bassist Derek ‘Slim’ Bolman and drummer Chris George.


These young hardcore upstarts were still attending high school when they pursued their dream to form a new band, giving birth to Sworn In.  Playing their first show in March 2011, they were quick to succeed their debut gig with the release of their opening EP, titled, ‘Catharsis’.


Dennen left the band after it’s release, handing over the vocals and foreground to Kamlyuk for their second EP titled, ‘Start/End’, which was released in 2012.  It was in this same year that Dennen returned as vocalist, also recording a single called ‘Let Down’ upon his homecoming.


The primary track on the album is called ‘Sweetheart’, but there ain’t nothing ‘sweet’ about it.  It’s a very sombre affair, beginning slowly with dark, shadowy vocals by Dennen, which is somewhat reminiscent of Robert Smith and a little bit of Siouxsie And The Banshees‘ ‘Dear Prudence’.  A slow pulse drumbeat by George intensifies into a violent, screaming, sci-fi attack on the aforementioned ‘Sweetheart’.


Coming in, similar to a Thirty Seconds To Mars style mission at just under halfway, is a track sharply titled, ‘Pins And Needles’.  Now this made my ears perk up with an attentive curiosity, causing me to ponder; hang on a minute, what’s this?  With rumbling bass lines in the intro from Bolman, and melodic yet raw and enraged vocals, it held my curiosity and became quite promising.  Unfortunately, it didn’t hold it’s promise or follow through as I hoped it would.


It gets lost in the lordly need to bring in clean vocals that don’t keep up with the saw-edged guitar riffs behind them.  There is also an obvious disconnect among some songs on the album, owing to the shift – (a METALmorphosis you could say) – from raw to melodic, to extreme and impetuous, making it feel unfitting and distorted.  I was disappointed as it has the potential to be great.


Now, it could be that this was the whole intention of the album, but after listening to and comparing their previous release to the latest, the experimentation with diverse rhythmic patterns and reverberating contrasts, I feel, didn’t do them any favours.  It doesn’t line up as well as they delivered in ‘Death Card’, though in the same breath, I do take away a strange appreciation for the album.


I have great respect for the band for doing what they do and the style in which they play: but for me personally, it’s not a record I would listen to just for pure enjoyment. However though, for hardcore, extreme/metalcore fans, this album would be right up their street.


 Words by Adele


Track Listing 

  1. Sweetheart
  1. Sugar Lips
  1. I Don’t Really Love You
  1. Oliolioxinfree
  1. Waltz
  1. Pins And Needles
  1. Lay With Me
  1. Weeping Willow
  1. Pocket Full Of Posies
  1. Sunshine
  1. Scissors
  1. Sour

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