Hardcore quartet Glassworld recently released their debut full-length album, Wrecked, and, for many reasons, it’s a unique and solid listen. The work is laced with strict consistency and steers closely to the nautical and emotional references which the title draws from, embracing a new spin on a breakup album. Glassworld takes the opportunity to shed light on abuse and mental health struggles with the release, from the eerie intro that sounds like it should (spoiler alert) narrate a revived Jon Snow’s return to Castle Black to follow-up tracks that reveal a relationship riddled with unhealthy habits.
Glassworld wastes no time creating atmosphere, something in which the band excels. While the first half of the album details the relationship’s demise, the latter is very much about letting go in tragic ways. For example, “Talking” seems to give life to anxiety and how it can manifest rapidly, whereas the song immediately following, “Realizations,” is a self-explanatory work about making the hard decisions to survive both physically and emotionally.
Much like the introductory track, the dark interlude holds a story of its own. Although narrated, it’s vague enough to allow for interpretive variance. Regardless of the storyline specifics, the intention of this piece is to serve as a transition into Act Two of the album. “Slow Climb,” the opener of this segment, is wrought with a heavy guilt and sadness about moving on. “Shelter,” follows with a moment of silence in the company of lapping waves before a build up ensues and things get sonically lit. In true closing fashion, “Where” carries Wrecked to fruition with one last inclusion of the desolate, dark eeriness as the album exhales. In many ways, it is a farewell, in every way an appropriate ending.
Beyond the content, the album is distinct with its robust presentation. Lead vocalist Bethany Durbin nails the harsh vocals, while Stephanie Combs backs her with sleek melodies. The background vocals along with frequent guitar chugs, build ups, and full-band breakdowns, Wrecked follows the metalcore template. Roar proves her competence consistently as not only a vocalist, but also the resident guitarist. As great and prominent as the vocals and guitars are on Wrecked, the MVP may well be the insane performance on the drum kit. Danny Hutchinson has a chaotic style that vacillates between succinct and unbroken bursts of percussive strength, making him a true highlight on the album. The true banger on Wrecked, “Visions,” is where Beth Durbin’s harshest vocals are meshed with a wicked and creepy guest spot by Eternal Void’s Logan Adams; very impressive.
As far as hardcore/metalcore albums are concerned, it’s truly arresting. Its constant dedication to the central theme along with the high-grade performance throughout makes this debut full-length a great listen. Add to that the refreshing change up of well-executed female harsh vocals, and Wrecked is a promising notch for metalcore.