Skeletal Lightning/Dog Knights Productions
Release Date: December 9, 2106
With a name like Youth Funeral, you can pretty much assume a few things about this New England-based trio. First, more than likely they are going to be heavy. Things are also maybe not going to be the most comfortable. Also, it’s going to be an emotional ride. So if you are looking for a heavy, emotional and uncomfortable ride, Heavenward is the place for you.
In classic hardcore fashion, Youth Funeral manage to blister through 11 tracks in 15 minutes. By traditional standards, this is definitely an EP, but it’s enough of a ride that I think it stands on it’s own as a full length. The band tends to take two tacts at songwriting. First they go all out and punch you in the face with Daughters-like spastic aggression (see “Heavenward”, “Amber Light”, “Unthought” and every other track under a buck and a half). On the other hand Youth Funeral can stretch their post-hardcore muscles and stretch into almost sprawling territory like some early Roadside Monument. The instrumental “Bloom” is a highlight of the latter style and is one of my favorite tracks. They even flirt with jam band territory on “Shadow Phases”.
Lyrically, Heavenward is brief but intense. These 11 tracks deal heavily with loss and abandonment. Together with the band's frantic playing style there’s a chance of this record either being extremely cathartic or a massive trigger. I guess one would have to know themself before choosing a record like this. There’s nothing fun about Youth Funeral, but they sure deliver on the expectations.
Reviewed by: Rob1340