I have seen Renounced play on numerous occasions and every single time they blow me away with their performances and the same can be said for their new release Theories of Despair. I have always been particularly fond of the UK hardcore scene and it’s great to see how diverse some of the bands. Renounced are definitely one of them bands and have been one of my favourites for a while now with a style putting them in a league of their own. Both of their previous releases Conditioned From Birth and The Melancholy We Ache are solid records but this release goes above and beyond, it’s absolutely flawless!
Renounced take all the best influences from 90’s metalcore bands like Unbroken, Chokehold and Disembodied and combine this with smaller elements of 2000’s metalcore/post-hardcore, mainly the melodic and emotional sounding parts. By incorporating all of these elements into their music, they do have their own unique style. There is a bit of everything from shrill guitar sounds, plucking melodic guitar work, earth shattering breakdowns and a perfect contrast between ferocious vocals and emotional feeling spoken parts. All of these features combined, work hand in hand and results in a well-structured record. The flow of the record is also brilliant as there are complex instrumental parts that are quite calming, transitioning in to some fast paced riffs then out of nowhere – BOOM, massive breakdowns which are heavy enough to shake the walls.
From listening to Theories of Despair Renounced have kept their trademark sound but a couple of tracks are marginally heavier than the previous 2 records. The opening track Buried begins with a sound clip of a man sobbing between speaking heart felt sentences which instantly sets the tone for this record. The frenzy of instrumentals then step in with the screaming vocals not far behind. This continues through to the next couple of tracks A Fire No Longer Burns and Heart Beats Cold with more crushing drums, emotional sounding guitar melodies and chugging riffs. As Delicate as Moths Wings is definitely a faster tempo compared to the majority of their songs and has some grooving riffs perfect for the two stepping crowd. Also as per the previous releases there is a calming instrumental track The Fragility of Life which is the halfway line on this LP.
After the brief silence towards the end of the instrumental Anxiety in Black and White then kicks in with pounding bass pedals and more ruthless 90’s metalcore influenced instrumental work. This track is split up nicely with a long melodious part through the middle that contains more spoken word parts. My Last Dying Wish is the heaviest track on here and is packed full of guitar chugs, drum blasts and relentless screams. The final track Inner Reprisal took me by surprise as there are a nice variety of melodies, frantic guitars and noise which leads to another sound clip before finishing off with an enormous breakdown that blew out one of my headphones on the first listen.
Renounced have shown a tremendous array of song writing on Theories of Despair and maintain a solid structure throughout the whole record and the mixture of melodic and heavyness is faultless. If you are a metalcore enthusiast then I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Do yourself a favour and pick this up from Carry the Weight Records.