|Verse - Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace|
There has been a lot of hype since Verse have reformed, mostly positive but some negative and at the time I didn’t really know what to think, but after listening to Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace I am really glad that they decided to get back together. There is nothing special to the sound that Verse produce with their modern, melodic style of hardcore but the way they get their messages of emotion and anxiety across just really does it for me more than some other melodic bands do. From the screaming vocals of Sean Murphy to the instrumental guitar melodies and drum rhythms made by the band, from heavy to melodic, I think Verse have accomplished a sound of their own. This is definitely an essential record to have as Verse are an asset to the hardcore scene once again and this full length makes you want to detonate your emotions.
In my opinion, Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace isn’t as powerful as Rebuild and From Anger and Rage however, I listened these albums to death when they were released so they take a lot of beating. I was pleasantly surprised to still hear the anger and passion come out through their music instantaneously from the first track The Selfish of the Earth. There are a couple of tracks (The Silver Spoon and the Empty Plate and Oceanic Tendencies) which are shorter than Verse’s average song times, where time keeping it short and sweet but still managing to maintain their straight-to-the-point lyrical content and sounds. This isn’t the case for every track though, as Verse have still gone above and beyond to produce some intense guitar melodies; this is especially apparent in The Relevance of our Disconnect and with the technical solo in The Selfless of the Earth. This is not an album to be ignored as it provides the listener with outrivaled melodies, occasionally broken up with relaxing interludes throughout constructing a quality atmosphere.
Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace isn’t the most perfect record and I am pretty sure it is not to everyone’s taste, but who cares - the energy and motivation is still consistent throughout the record. It’s great to see individuals in the hardcore scene stay passionate and enthusiastic to cover topics such as politics, emotions and aggression. Some of the guitar sequences sound cluttered, evident clearly on The Selfless of the Earth and at times there is a lot of spoken words rather than shouting which could put off some listeners but, for me, this shows variety and a signature to Verse’s sound. The same emotion and energy can be detected from their previous material and personally I think you should do yourself a favour and pick this record up as it will definitely grow on you. Get it here from B9.