Published Aug 03, 2016After five years of being a band, Bent Life have released their first full-length, and it was well worth the wait. Building on the already-crushing sounds found on their EPs (Full Skull in particular), and channelling hardcore heavyweights like Terror, the Midwest unit have put together a formidable ten-song set.
Bent Life have tightened their songwriting here, and their firm grasp of dynamism is especially prominent on tracks like "Thanks for Nothing" and "Cheat Death," the former strategically dipping in and out of shifting rhythms, transitioning from straightforward, gang-vocal-backed slams to thrashy chugs and rumbling bass breaks. In addition to this, the crisp production sheen aids each of these songs greatly, without ever being overwhelming or detracting from any of the grittiness underneath.
Closer "Permanence" is a tightly wound, two-minute build-up that explodes into a final breakdown that recalls that of "Introduction," bringing the album full circle. With Never Asked for Heaven, Bent Life have outdone themselves, delivering a concise and powerful record. (Bridge Nine)