Philly metallic hardcore squad Jesus Piece are back.
Following up on 2018’s phenomenal “Only Self”, Jesus Piece brings us the next chapter in their signature heavy arsenal.
Ten tracks of all-out violence, power & destruction.
Jesus Piece has always done things on their own terms. Using influences but never set out to wear them on their sleeves. Merging their love for death metal, hardcore, d-beat, hip-hop, and shoegaze to create some of the most stand-alone & different releases since the band’s formation in 2015.
“…So Unknown” comes five years after the band’s last release. Giving the band a ton of time off touring, time to write over the pandemic & time to really craft their sophomore album.
“In Contraints” kicks off the album in the heaviest way. Right from the bat the production on the track & whole is a huge step up from “Only Self”.
Crisper, clearer but somehow the guitar tones are heavier, Drummer Luis Aponte has more power behind them. A huge step up thanks to Co-producing mixing by Randy LeBouef (Every Time I Die, Orthodox).
The track brings the chaos JP always brings to the table. Leading up to a very inventive breakdown before the track ends. If it’s one thing about these guys they know how to write a breakdown that’s refreshing & new.
Second track “Fear of Failure” picks up the energy. One of my favourite parts of JP is the mix of vocal styles. Aaron Heard’s vocal performance on this album is so varied. His low vocals are currently unmatched in the hardcore scene. His cadence & pronunciation is a huge step up on this record too. With the contrast of bassist Anthony Marinaro’s more traditional “hardcore” vocals style gives the band a chance to play around with texture.
The opening black metal style trem riff really opens as the track begins & is a great catchy theme throughout the trac, But they don’t overuse it. Bringing back the riff near the end of the track before letting it all out in a yet again innovative bridge section, playful & misleading in the best way. Bringing you in before destroying any thought of what may come next.
My stand out track on the album comes in “FTBS”. The most pissed off & venomous JP track on the album. Pushing that joint attack of Heard & Marinaro vocals with the most creative riffs I’ve heard in some time from guitarists David Updike & John DiStefano. The track is a perfect example of the band being able to mix all the genres they are influenced by to achieve something great. A hardcore heavy singalong chorus section, a southern Pantera style breakdown with chaotic metallic quick riffs merge to create something stand out here.
One of the things that have always stood out about JP is how fantastic & organic Luis Aponte’s drumming has been. Using a swagger & swing to his drumming that is missed & overlooked in a lot of metallic hardcore.
“Profane” shows that Aponte’s drumming can carry a song & help drive it. The use og bell hits to accent parts & other cymbal work gives the track flurries most don’t put the effort into.
The first single released “An Offering to the Night” gets the title of most impactful track. This one is a JP masterpiece in my eyes. Some of the best timing & switch up the band has used. A great opening feels like a shotgun blast to the chest. Straight into a headbanger of a chorus that catches your ear straight away & has you head bobbing for sure. A great bass break from Marinaro helps build the track’s closing moments to “the perfect time to spin kick moment.” on the album award. Merging elements the band started to use in “Only Self”, noise electronics with thick guitar tone the band uses creates something mammoth in scale.
Jesus Piece is unparalleled when it comes to heavy music. Moving away from the herd & creating something so different & energetic it cant help but pull you in. For a second album they have been able to capture something so different from what they have done before but still staying true to their sound. No sophomore slump here, just outstanding inventive writing. A very worthy album to be the band’s debut release on Century Media & one of the strongest albums of the year to date.
…So Unknown is out via Century Media on 14th April 2023
1. In Contraints
2. Fear of Failure
3. Tunnel Vision
5. Silver Lining
6. Gates of Horn
8. An Offering to the Night
9. Stolen Life
10. The Bond
Aaron Heard – vocals
David Updike – guitars
John DiStefano – guitars
Anthony Marinaro – bass
Luis Aponte (LU2K) – drums