You might be surprised to be attacked by a swarm of bees on the intro this split between two hardcore bands but for The Banner it’s business as usual as the band moved to darker territory before every hardcore kids discovered the existence of Watain. The guitar squeals of opener Witchburner are not different from some of the most intense track on their latest album, The Greying. The second track, Rat king, moves back to the kind of catchy rhythm based hardcore that they played on Frailty but with some added vitriol in the vocals. Basically, The Banner is one of the most consistent band in hardcore and their side of the split does not disappoint if you’ve been enjoying their recent material.
Old Wound‘s music deals also with violent anguish but without any norwegian influence. The screamo influenced vocals of band frontman Kevin reminds of Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats whereas the music sounds closer to the sound of Converge on You fail me. Dirty riffs played with a lot of disgusts for everything. The lead guitar on It can’t rain all the time also channels some Converge influences era Petitionning the empty sky. Finally, this split introduce some melodic vocals in Old Wounds repertoire but not the kind made to cater to the nu metal/emo/pop crowd. The out of tune voice found on both choruses only underlines the desperation found on the two tracks and contrast perfectly with the closing breakdown of It can’t rain all the time that finishes this split.
If you needed any proof that The Banner and Old Wounds are two of the most intense and personal band of the current hardcore scene, this split should convince you. A perfect pairing that would make for a perfect tour, preferably in Europe.