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Album Review

SHVPES – Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.


SHVPES are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Label: Search and Destroy / Spinefarm Records
Released: 14th October 2016

Rating: ★★★★

The debut release from SHVPES, formerly known as Cytota, wastes no time in introducing the band and new frontman Griffin Dickinson. The savageness on display shows they’re ready to make a statement with this rebirth; in Dickinson’s own words, ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’ aims to “expel 24 years’ worth of frustration and turn it into something positive.” It’s a sentiment that’s certainly apparent.

‘Bone Theory’ serves as a fine opening, with surging drums and thick, sharp-edged guitars. Throughout, there are small snippets of other influences that shy away from basic metal standards, ‘False Teeth’ for example features a breakdown that includes a slight blues-driven riff and funk backing before launching back into the expected chaos.

‘Smoke & Mirrors’ breaks out the melodic hardcore, while one of the album’s strongest moments comes in the form of ‘Two Minutes of Hate’, which is built around George Orwell’s idea of two minutes to hate your enemies. It’s vicious, and has a menacing Rage Against The Machine vibe that cements the politics-at-large undertones to the track.

It’s unrelenting in its entirety, the moments that give a slight respite only serve to enhance the brutality. If SHVPES can continue on this trend, there’s no reason they can’t become a force to be reckoned with and stake their own claim within this hard set scene. Steven Loftin