South Dakota based hardcore/punk metallers, Earth Groans, released a new EP on the 3rd of August called Rahab via Solid State Records. The American band have only existed for a few years, forming in 2015 when founder Jeremy Schaeffer felt a need to get involved in the hardcore music scene. A genre he had always felt passionately about.
He set off to find bandmates who felt the same and recruited Zachariah Mayfield on guitars. Also joining were Kaden Burton on the bass and Brady Mueller on drums. Those three, along with Jeremy/s vocals became Earth Groans and set to work recording their debut. That debut was an EP called Renovate, released in 2017. It was well received and quickly earned the band a seat on Solid State’s roster.
Now, a year later, they are back with their second EP, Rahab.
Rahab is a short but forceful punch with 5 tracks weighing in at just 18 minutes. There isn’t time for any messing about. The EP kicks straight off with powerfully aggressive music with opening track, Reign. Reign features guest vocals from J.T Cavey, the once vocalist of American metalcore band Texas in July, and current vocalist in ERRA.
Reign is a great example of what Earth Groans are bringing to the table with Rahab. Aggressive vocals, loads of distortion and blasting drum beats. Other than a distorted, feedback sound the intro is non existent. You get thrust straight into the middle of a primal pit. The vocals are consistently deathly with quickly spat lkyrics mixed with drawn out growls. The drums are all over the place in a good way. Different timings and different beats come at you from every angle. The guitars are quite technical, playing stop start riffs at different pitches. There are rare occasions where the music controls itself enough to play at a solid headbanging rhythm but mostly it stays in that chaotic, hardcore area.
That is really how the whole of Rahab goes. Avarice is almost indistinguishable from Reign save for a few switch ups in the riff tempo and stops in the drumming. Heathen Heart does have a slower, crunching riff to it’s main body and a nice thick bass line drags the song down into sludgy tones. Penultimate track, Allure, goes straight for the kill with more disjointed chaos and visceral roars. Blast beats pepper the whole track and there is a strong, slowed down breakdown near the end that should be popular in pits anywhere.
The final track is called By Faith. It has easily the catchiest riff running through it on the whole EP. There is a nice bounce to it, soon joined by quickly spat vocals and off timed drum blasts. It kind of ends up staying similar to the rest of the EP but keeps that main riff going which really elevates the track.
Rahab is a really strong hardcore EP which is almost a love letter to the genre managing to fit in just about everything you know about hardcore music. It is heavy, chaotic and occasionally sounds, purposely messy. The drums are solid throughout and the vocals are raw and powerful. The guitars are slightly mad, jamming out some interesting and odd riffs. Whether you are going to like Rahab or not will purely come down to your feelings about hardcore. Fan of the genre? You will love this. Not a fan? This probably isn’t for you.
Worth checking out though, just in case.
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Rahab is available on all the usual streaming services now, like Spotify and Apple Music. You can grab a copy digitally or physically from one of the many links found here. Find out more about Earth Groans at their website, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to give them a like or follow while you are there.
Rahab by Earth Groans (Solid State Records)
The Final Score - 6.5/10