Published Feb 10, 2016If there's one thing that's been made abundantly clear by Bleak for the last few years, it's that they don't sit still for very long, as they've consistently offered up new material between extensive tour jaunts. The Syracuse, NY band recently released their powerful debut full-length We Deserve Our Failures this past summer, and they're already setting forth a fresh set of tracks with Songs for Cowards.
The new, four-track EP is the first recording to feature Michael Watson, actually Bleak's original vocalist, whose return to the band makes a tremendous impact; Eyehategod-esque tortured, throat-shredding screams add a different, more dynamic aspect to the quartet's overwhelmingly intense, sludge-filled metallic hardcore sound.
Songs for Cowards maintains a sense of chaos and urgency that juxtaposes the dark and harsh tones. The raw vitality also complements TJ Calandra's exceptionally heavy riffs, such as the one that anchors the crushing "Bury Me Alive." Impeccably well-written and writhing with hatred and nihilism, Songs for Cowards solidifies Bleak as one of heavy music's finest acts, and the forerunners of what is currently a quite impressive upstate New York scene. (Prison Tatt Records)