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Heartless - "Certain Death" 7"

In 2011, Heartless came right out of the gate with its punishing Southern Lord debut, Hell Is Other People. The record was 13 tracks of relentless and scathing d-beat-laden hardcore that garnered the band comparisons to Napalm Death and Hatred Surge. After grueling North American and European tours supporting Hell Is Other People, Heartless settled down to write another harsh release, this time putting together the eight-song Certain Death 7”, released by Halo Of Flies Records.

Certain Death leans more in the direction of the band’s metal influences rather than the punk and hardcore influences that aided themselves to Hell Is Other People. While those aspects are still there, the band has a lot of stop-on-a-dime transitions reminiscent of the early grindcore and thrash bands of the 80s that breathe new life into the Heartless sound. The runtime of the 7” also looks like more like a metal record: eight songs in a little over 11 minutes, with only two of the eight tracks failing to break the one-minute mark (“Excess” and “Unhinged”). While the songs may be longer on this release, they keep the attention of the listener while still drawing out some heavier portions such as the latter half of the title track.

Another notable shift in dynamic is the range used by vocalist Cory Smith. Instead of relying solely on his exasperated holler that blended well with the crusty hardcore atmosphere of the band’s prior output, Smith gets pretty low in specific places on Certain Death, adding even more of a bleak and dark layer to the EP.

Heartless comes out swinging on this 7”, which is up for pre-order now through Halo Of Flies. The band will be playing Maryland Death Fest along with Infest, Converge, Iron Lung, Dead In The Dirt, Weekend Nachos, and more this May.