ITHACA

Metal­lic hard­core band? Holy Roar? They’re ob­vi­ously go­ing to be good

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise Round-up - WORDS: MATT MILLS

THaNks TO NaMes like Code Or­ange and Vein, metal­lic hard­core is hot­ter than ever in the heavy mu­sic un­der­ground. The sub­genre’s re­cent suc­cess cre­ates the per­fect at­mos­phere for Ithaca and their im­pend­ing first al­bum, The Lan­guage Of In­jury, to thrive. But what may sur­prise new­com­ers to these debu­tants is that they ac­tu­ally pre­date the ex­treme met­al­core re­nais­sance.

“When we started play­ing to­gether, we couldn’t clas­sify our mu­sic in a cer­tain genre,” says lead singer Djamila Az­zouz. “Be­cause metal­lic hard­core wasn’t in resur­gence back then, so we got away with play­ing with so many dif­fer­ent bands of dif­fer­ent gen­res.” “We came up do­ing tours with bands like Em­ployed to Serve and Venom Prison”, gui­tarist Sam Chetan-Welsh adds.

Ithaca formed in late 2012, be­fore re­leas­ing EPs in 2014 and 2015. The Lan­guage Of In­jury will be their first new ma­te­rial in three years, par­tially due to the band’s metic­u­lous writ­ing style.

“It takes a long time to write,” Sam ad­mits. “It’s a la­bo­ri­ous process and tends to be quite de­tailed. We were happy just let­ting the tracks come nat­u­rally, rather than go­ing, ‘I have to write track nine on the al­bum now!’”

How­ever, the de­but is worth the wait. In­spired by The Char­iot and Rolo To­massi, Ithaca’s songs pum­mel with whirring gui­tars and groov­ing rhythms, built atop a back­bone of sub­tle melodies. Djamila and Sam trade roars, but the for­mer – for the first time – also makes room for a cleaner, har­monic de­liv­ery.

“I lived in a lit­tle vil­lage and was very se­cluded,” ex­plains the front­woman. “It could get lonely, so I started singing a lot. It just snow­balled from there.” “It’s an­other sig­nif­i­cant tool we add to the tool­box,” Sam sum­marises.

By flavour­ing their rag­ing hard­core with dashes of beauty, Ithaca are ready to stand tall in their sub­genre’s pan­theon of greats.

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