Overall Score: 10/10 Riffs: 10/10 Vocals: 10/10 Heaviness: 10/10 Pros: Heavy as fuck | Massive hooks | Great vocals Cons: There is nothing bad about this album
It’s common knowledge that the UK hardcore scene is enjoying its golden age right now. The nation is producing dozens upon dozens of bands that are surely destined for success. But there is one band that are ready to step up and take their throne as the new kings of UK hardcore. From the label that brought us Deaf Havana and Lower Than Atlantis, come Polar.
Iron Lungs, the début album from the Guildford band, takes influence from Every Time I Die and Cancer Bats, mixed with the British attitude of Gallows to delivers 38 minutes of everything you would want from a hardcore album. Combining visceral heaviness with melody and fantastic vocal hooks from a singer who doesn’t have to resort to clean singing.
The vocal delivery on this album is about as close to perfect as it gets for this type of band. Lead singer Adam Woodford’s throat shredding roar is complimented by fantastic gang vocals that urge you to scream along. The “Keep your friends close…” refrain in The Dead Travel Fast and the opening chant in Sick Old Buzzard being prime examples of this
The title track adds a great deal of depth to the album. The atmospheric instrumental begins softly and builds to a crushingly heavy, yet still melodic as fuck climax, effortlessly showcasing the bands musical skills.
Polar don’t rely on any clichés, there are no repetitive drums or unimaginative riffs on display. The guitar duo of Fabian Lomas and Max O’Neill bring classic rock inspired riffs to tracks like In County, but they also bring a superb sense of melody. Songs like Eighteen and H.E.L.L. are vastly improved by melodic chords being played alongside the heavy riffs. This sets the band apart from many other bands around right now.
Iron Lungs is loaded with moments of perfection delivered with honesty and intensity. But above all, it’s filled with fantastic, well-developed and expertly written songs. All hail Polar, new kings of the UK hardcore scene.