We've all been to concerts where we stepped back, thought for a moment, and said to ourselves, These guys are really pouring their hearts out up there. But unless we were listening to Tokyo, Japan's Envy, we hadn't seen that phrase in its truest sense. With their newest release, A Dead Sinking Story, the members of Envy have handed us their hearts, and they've wrapped it in a plastic jewel case along with some of the most brutal, intense hardcore to be heard.
Clocking in at about an hour, the record's nine songs flow together, almost making it impossible not to continue listening. Going in and out of absolutely fierce brutality and perfect ambient interludes, the release mixes intelligent drumming and melodic yet powerful guitars into cement for the massive wall of emotion and sound that is held from the first song through the last note.
Intense and beautiful, the record's only downfall is the near-constant mid-tempo beat, which can be trance-like and cathartic. Don't be mislead; songs like "Color of Fetters" have parts that are faster, more urgent and just as important to the record as the mid-tempo, drive-y parts. "Go Mad and Mark" and "Chain Wandering Deeply" prove that one doesn't have to understand Japanese to understand what Envy is expressing (that and the fact that the lyrics are translated into English in the liner notes).
There is nothing on this album that isn't huge. From the one hour of music to the immense sound to the emotional content, Envy has proven itself to be one of the most sincere hardcore bands around.