Bucharest-based band nevergoinghome released “Fears that set us free” about a month ago, following their debut EP “Pathways” in 2018. The struggles we’ve all faced due to COVID aren’t exactly a secret. Anxieties, trauma, or lack of confidence are necessary parts of life, but music provides an outlet for our emotional strife. nevergoinghome, through their past experiences, is prime evidence.

The band says that “the main themes that we approached in our new album are routine, the wear-and-tear of modern life, anxieties, lack of confidence and finding the strength to overcome these challenges. These are things that all of us in the band have experienced, and we wanted to show that however big the problem is, YOU can overcome it. This one goes out to everyone who has felt any of the above and especially to all of you who were there for us as a band during these last few years (you know who you are). Your support has made this possible.

With that in mind, “Fears that set us free” sees the Romanian band exploring progressive rock environments while still maintaining their trademark metalcore sound. ‘Erosion’ is the first track off this 8-track EP and boasts a parade of power-hungry instrumentals and clean and growl vocals. The song starts heavy; the bass-lines ring throughout, adding a bit of tranquility to a vicious track, while the vocals come forcefully, emitting unmatched energy. The tunes played at 4.30 reminds me of Gojira’s ‘L’Enfant Sauvage.’

The second track, ‘Great Disconnect,’ is an incredibly impactful and aggressive piece yet tastefully charming. I find the clean and growl vocals converging perfectly, allowing metalcore to radiate its intense colors. On top of that, the instrumentals show a great balance between the scream vocals. Undoubtedly, the 4-piece band yields a dramatic effect as it switches between the instrumentals and vocals strategically.

On ‘Getaways,’ nevergoinghome takes it further by adding melodies to the screams, setting the tone for another layer of emotion. There is unbridled joy in the soundscapes that nevergoinghome has crafted on “Fears that set us free,” much like seeing the beauty still left in the world despite the uncertainty and sadness.

‘Fractures’ and ‘Empty Space’ command attention throughout, as you’ll briefly pause for mere moments before being dragged again through the hellish display of vocals and instruments in ‘Thieves.’

How does a band stand out from the metalcore pack? I figure that if you’re nevergoinghome, you do it by infusing the metalcore with more fresh blood and passion than most while delivering modern metalcore with an edge.

That leads me to ‘Ruins,’ my favorite track. It’s heavy, melodic, and intense. I’d say it’s metalcore, but great metalcore. Instead of going straight for the jugular, the gentle nature of the song shows the band in a different light. It feels like ‘Ruins’ encapsulates all that is great about this album in the five-and-a-half-minute musical epic. ‘Ruins’ is an awe-inspiring track that pulls some of the wildest shifts from lows to highs, leaving nothing behind.

Album closer ‘Fears that set us free’ beautifully displays the instrumental talent from bass, guitar, and drums, so that we can take a moment to let the vocals hang while admiring the technical skill.

Overall, nevergoinghome offers the metalcore scene something hard to come by, despite what it may consider about itself, bewildering creativity. You have no option but to respect the efforts shown in “Fears that set us free” to create such creative, intense, and intricate music. Few can provide such versatility in their ferocity; even fewer can do it with such style.

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.