Boneripper – World Ablaze


Dutch metallic hardcore quintet, Boneripper, aim to be heavier with each release. Though springing from the hardcore punk scene with current and former members of Manu Armata, 13Steps and Bladecrusher, it’s clear that they formed Boneripper to write thrash metal with a street savvy edge to it. Three of the band are blood brothers. They want their debut album to be as scorching as its title suggests.

The supreme irony of metallic hardcore is that it sounds so much like the unvirtuous music of Slayer. In other words, Kerry King and Co’s sound with Napalm Death’s ideology. And Boneripper are precise in what they stand against – carbon dioxide emissions, xenophobia, the politics of fear, and religious fundamentalism. It’s no surprise that they draw upon George Orwell’s 1984 as inspiration in opener, ‘Final Warning’, which allows them to work through their chunky riffs and let the televised scene between O’Brien and Winston do the talking, specifically where the former says, “If you want an image of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”

With song titles like ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Desolated’, it’s clear that Boneripper believe that things might need to get worse before they get better. Musically, the latter asks the question: Is there a genre in heavy music that understands the pull of the shoulder-swaying groove better than hardcore? The riffs are sharper than a Medieval scabbard, the vocals more masculine than a rented penthouse of MMA fighters.

Madball deserve credit for their influence on modern metallic hardcore. Listen to the blows of the palm-muted guitars as they enhance your adrenaline levels in ‘Fear of Death’. The band are wise to include a death metal strain of double-kick drums and tremolo rhythms in this song. Terror are the heroes in ‘Mental Warfare’. This music speaks to the uncontrollable instincts in your body that want to be free of your mind. Why did hardcore continue the spirit of thrash metal’s finest aspects in the 1990s while the metal bands embraced drop-tuned guitar grooves and rap music? It should get more credit for this service.

Of course, one thing we know about hardcore is that it’s acceptable to be intolerant of intolerant and exclusionary dogmas. D-beats and virtuous politics combine with ease in ‘Xenophobic’ thanks to a stomping piece of chunky riffage. If ‘Rise Back Up’ doesn’t make you feel invincible, nothing will. Here, the guitarists alternate between sliding chords and palm-muted rhythms as if demonstrating the versatility of their instruments as weapons of force. The message here is a positive one: “Giving up no real option / Rise back up.”

Metallic hardcore has nowhere to go in terms of innovation, but it’s still better than seventy percent of contemporary death and black metal. Boneripper will not let you rest and will continue to hound you until you realise that you must do something rather than give in to the curse of political apathy.


Verdict


Release Date: 24/05/2024

Record Label: Self-released

Standout tracks: The Abyss, Fear of Death, Rise Back Up

Suggested Further Listening: Paralysis – Mob Justice (2020), Terror – Pain into Power (2022), Lies! – Mind Pollution (2023)