The hard-hitting melodic hardcore groups Overo and Asthenia — who are based in the U.S. and Japan, respectively — were originally set to tour together in Japan in Nov. 2020. Like so many other groups, their plans were put on ice, but they’ve now released a split 7″ that captures some of the respective bands’ ferocious magic.
Overo’s music feels poignantly personalized. The band’s songs on this EP carry a lot of weight, both sonically and emotionally, but Overo keep their performances closely attached to guiding central melodies. The melodies feel like they somehow musically capture moments just after a big onslaught of emotion has settled in, and the feeling spreads across the band’s whole performance. Thanks to the uniquely poignant foundation, the band’s songs feel like soundtracks for moments of coming to terms with a deeply painful experience. The pain isn’t necessarily vanishing, but there’s still a cathartic path forward.
Although the songs from Overo feel quite melody-centric — even the brisk “Near The End,” which clocks in below one minute — they still pack a perfectly suited level of wavering dynamics in the performances that make the tracks feel stunningly sincere. Listening doesn’t just feel like observing a band on a stage (although the band members definitely have impressive musical chops); the songs feel like traversing through potentially tumultuous emotional trenches, and the same goes for the enrapturing songs from Asthenia.
On “Haunted By Heat,” Overo first dive into some jangly guitar-driven melodies that deliver a sense of pensive contemplation. Gradually, as temporary blasts of energy pop up amidst that segment, the band build up into heavy downpours of drum rhythm, and the song’s conclusion features splashes of heavy melodies that feel a bit less sprawling than before, as if floodgates have opened up. “Near The End” (the rather short track) features some awesomely heavy bursts of groove, and it ends with the poignantly contemplative lyric: “Love is not enough!”
On their two tracks, Asthenia perform an especially contemplative version of emotionally earnest-sounding melodic hardcore. On their second song — “Ghosts” — the contemplative vibe sits front-and-center: the first minute or so, with its easy-going yet heavy melodies, feels like a soundtrack for walking through some dusty alleyway while a light rain comes down from above, churning up the nearby debris. After a brief foray into a heavier texture, Asthenia dive back into a lengthy segment of the more uneasy melodies, which lead into a closing segment of ferocious fury.
The EP is available via Forge (JPN), Count Your Lucky Stars (USA), Middle-man (USA), Pundonor (ESP), strictly no capital letters (UK), Lilac Sky (NOR), Polar Summer (RUS), & Scully Records (USA).