Published Nov 06, 2018New Jersey metalcore alumni Old Wounds were on the cusp of something special in 2015. After a rewarding stint on that summer's Vans Warped Tour, the group continued to win fans over with their goth-tinged extract of '90s metalcore during support slots for Every Time I Die and Beartooth throughout the fall.
Things seemed to plateau for the band when vocalist Kevin Iavaroni announced his departure from music to become a barber. It was later revealed that he was also struggling with Crohn's disease. Then-drummer Brandon Gallagher (now of Coarse) stepped up to the mic, and while it was satisfactory, things were seemingly not the same.
By October 2017, both Gallagher and founding guitarist Zak Kessler had left the band due to creative differences and internal conflict. With Iavaroni returning to his frontman duties last year, the band also announced that Ben Waugh (of Exalt) would be handling guitar for the camp and were hard at work on their latest effort, Glow.
Since their last full-length, The Suffering Spirit, Old Wounds' sonic reach has lingered far beyond the prospect of metalcore revivalism. While the group still esteem the chugging pace and urgency of dissonant metallic hardcore, Glow is a cultivated effort that puts chorus, melody and song structure at the helm. Opening cuts "Your God v. Their God" and "Stripes" sound like Davey Havok fronting Chokehold, or later Eighteen Visions material before their initial hiatus. To be frank, metalcore music just doesn't sound this daring and sincere anymore.
Waugh and Iavaroni's chemistry finds new heights in Old Wounds repertoire, without alienating young ears lusting for a good breakdown (see: first single "Give a Name to Your Pain") or older listeners who thrive on the Vanity-esque melodies of "To Kill For."
Myspace inclinations aside, Old Wounds also lean to outright goth reverence on several Glow tracks. The ominous interlude "Surgical Dream" follows a doomy tempo, and the industrial affinity of "…Vanilla Filth…" and "Beauty Mark" make for a jarring and endearing listener experience. While instances of "Failed Design" feel like Iavaroni and guest vocalist Chris Cerulli (of Motionless In White) are slurring their way through Trustkill Records riffs, "No One Listens When You Fall Apart" concludes the album like lounge music for screamo enthusiasts.
Glow is hard, emotional music for the young and the old, the moshers and the criers, and Old Wounds at their most tempered, theatrical and musically apt thus far. (Good Fight)