Bloom – In Passing (Greyscale Records) 2020

It’s not deathcore or extreme chaotic grind metal but this might be some of the heaviest content I’ve heard in all of 2020 because grief weighs an absolute tonne.

‘In Passing’ is a cathartic exercise in grieving across 5 acts. Vocalist Jono Hawkey sings about the loss of his grandfather and the impact on everyone left behind, laying out his pain and loss in gut wrenching honesty and confronting emotion throughout this EP.

Musically it’s Counterparts. I make no apologies for the comparison. It’s a little disappointing to hear new music and literally mistake it for another band, not at all disappointing if you happen to love it and will gladly consume more of a good thing. Objectively it’s pretty un-original, realistically buy the shit out of this just the same and I’ll bet a lot of you will too because it’s awesome.

The group work well together, locking in for the big choruses loaded with melody, breaking out for the fast paced transitions and utilizing lots of stops, grabs, accented hits and pauses. It’s those nice little touches which add some flair and dynamics to the overall approach which.. being completely honest gets a touch repetitious and familiar too quickly.

Another thing I found quite enjoyable was the blend of sung and screamed vocals peppered all over the release, harmonies and coarse howls all in together. A typical band of this genre might give the screaming vocalist a break whilst another voice sings however Bloom achieve much greater heights by just throwing it all in together more often than not and the result is just intense, sad and really emotional. Occasionally the group take things to quite dark and heavy places and it’s just an onslaught, whereas at other times things get easier to sit with and there’s more space for melody and prettier guitar parts.

This is a well executed step in the right direction for melodic hardcore fans. Get around it and grab a box of tissues if you’re reading the lyrics. Not kidding.

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