Metal Hammer (UK)

Meet RENOUNCED, the future of metalcore.

Think metalcore has lost the plot? Renounced are here to remind you just how heavy it can still be


If you’ve been keeping a close ear to the dingier parts of the UK undergroun­d scene over the last few years, then there is a fair chance that you’ve heard the name Renounced pop up once or twice. Since their inception in 2011 they’ve been slowly cultivatin­g a reputation for being one of the most punishing examples of metalcore this country has ever produced.

“When we formed we basically had one goal”, guitarist and vocalist Dan Rayner tells us, before pausing mid-thought. “And that was… listen I don’t want to sit here and say, ‘Death to false metalcore!’ because that would be trite, but we did want to bring back a style that we grew up on back to this music.”

That style Dan mentions is the days just before Killswitch Engage broke into the mainstream and ushered in an entire generation of scavengers and copyist on the metal scene.

“When I was growing up there were so many bands that all sounded different from each other, but all fit under the umbrella of ‘metalcore’,” he continues. “It didn’t matter if it was a band like Hopesfall, who brought lots of melody to the sound, or Misery Signals being really technical, or Poison The Well, who were just this amazing blend of everything. Those bands all had real character, their own unique take, and we want to remind people of that.”

As much as Dan obviously loves that period of time in metal, it’s also apparent that he and his band have grown hugely frustrated with what has taken its place.

“It’s pretty dishearten­ing to see what has happened to metalcore now. I’m not a fan, put it that way,” he smirks. “It ultimately just became a competitio­n to see who could write the longest, lowest breakdown, all about just being heavy and nothing else. Or it was going radio friendly: these pop choruses after a load of processed guitars and obvious riffs. We all just thought, ‘We’re not having that’ and we’re trying to do something about it.”

What Dan and his bandmates have done about it is release a couple of splits and EPS and two full-length albums, all of which have caught the attention of fans of tar-thick, angersoake­d, riff-heavy hardcore. That appeal, though, will surely stretch even further with the release of the band’s third album, Beauty Is A Destructiv­e Angel: 11 slabs of delightful­ly nihilistic brutality, taking Renounced’s remit of drawing from metalcore’s most creatively fertile period and updating it for the modern era. Make no mistake, we could be looking at the next in a seemingly endless crop of genuinely exciting young bands in British heavy music right here.

“I mean, I hope so,” Dan shrugs when we put it to him that the timing is spot on for an album of this quality to be released. “We’re definitely not one of those bands that looks to keep it undergroun­d. We want to go out and tour and play to as many people as we can, and there’s also the chance that we can turn some people onto the bands that influenced us in the first place. If we can go, ‘Hey, you like us, well go and listen to Poison The Well!’ then that would be such an honour for us. I think it’s possible now as well: look at what Code Orange have done! And there are people following that… Knocked Loose, Vein, the list goes on. There’s a hunger for hardcore right now.”

Renounced certainly have someone in their ranks that has some experience

with taking heavy music into more mainstream territorie­s, as Sammy Unwin, guitarist of Woking-based heroes Employed To Serve, plays bass in the band. Also, as Dan reveals, that’s actually something of a catch 22 for him and his other bandmates.

“Yeah we hope Employed To Serve split up every day!” he winks. “Nah, obviously, we’re all really stoked for Sammy and the rest of the guys in that band. We’ve known them all for forever and you can’t say that they don’t deserve to have had all of these amazing things happen to them over the last few years. They’re a bit of an inspiratio­n to the rest of us; it shows that it can be done if you really put your heart and soul into something. And we all know that that band is Sammy’s baby, but when we have him, we make sure we make the most of him. He works as hard as anyone you could mention.”

It’s clear Dan spends a fair bit of time thinking a lot about the future of his band, while also, as ever, referencin­g the past. When asked about the career path that Renounced will take going forward, he’s quick to shoot back.


“Killswitch are the goal. Look at what they’ve done for this scene. Even when things weren’t going their way, they made the best of a difficult situation. Your singer leaving a band just as you were getting big would kill most bands, but they adapted and got even bigger, even stronger, and they just seem like they have their feet on the ground and are really humble. If we could have that sort of impact, then that would be really amazing.”

Renounced are bringing metalcore into the future, but they’ll never stop respecting the past.


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renounced: want nihilistic brutality? Step this way…
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