2.08.2017

REVIEW: SWIFT MINDS OF THE DARKSIDE BY QUEENSWAY

Swift Minds of The Darkside is the second release by Baltimore unit Queensway. If you picked up issue one of LOD Magazine then I know you've heard of them before. Well, they came back with a seven track EP to follow up the demo they released in February of 2016 and it does not disappoint in the slightest. In fact, I'm extremely impressed.

Most bands that take a similar approach to hardcore can't surpass their initial releases, relying heavily on the simple fact that they play a heavier style of the genre to carry them over from "good" to "memorable." Queensway is no such act. On this release they show you time and time again they made this style a science. Patric Gardner's lyrics are something more of a manifesto, depraved and raw, showing the extremities of where the mind can go when left to its own violent devices.

The album opens with ambient music, followed by Paul Sparer's voice giving the opening from Tales from the Darkside. Then you slide directly into the opening riffs and rhythms of "Fuel for The Darkest Man", almost four minutes of unrelenting guitars and a full on assault of well-written drum parts. The end of which is all feedback, moving seamlessly into "Trenchknife"- my personal favorite song on this release. Namely for its lyrical content.
Weak men, bow to me. Feeble and weak. My trenchknife will make you see. I won't let you stop me.
It's that very line that sums up Queensway's attitude quite well. "Return to Dirt" simply reinforcing the ideas laid out by the two previous tracks.

"Swift Minds of The Darkside" gives us a small intermission with another sample at its beginning, a quote from Burrell of The Wire, before barrelling into the track. Two minutes into this track we are graced with some of my favorite lyrics on this release, swiftly does the round leave the chamber/Playing god; Internal war/Simple lust and a means to an end. Throughout this album Queensway talks on the lasting effects perpetrating violence has on the mind. A refreshing theme from a band in this vein of hardcore. "Violent Breed" continues this with lyrics like what would you do with a strap in your hand?/Inflated feelings unshaken/Power of God: intentions of man.

"I.N.L." and "Shellshock" close out the album, leaving you reeling and wondering who could be responsible for something so violent and visceral. The answer is the one and only Queensway. 

You can listen to Swift Minds of The Darkside on Bandcamp and follow Queensway on Twitter