Until recently, I hadn’t heard of five-piece hardcore act Amygdala but judging by their most recent release Our Voices Will Soar Forever, it seems I’ve been missing out. Since they formed in 2014, the San Antonio based group has established something of a reputation for their politically charged songwriting and their championing of women, LGBTQ people and people of colour within the hardcore scene, a space still largely dominated by white men. And whilst I recognise a niche release from a hardcore act might not be the easiest sell, I feel their latest output warrants attention.
Our Voices Will Soar Forever represents Amygdala’s second full length release and is in large part an emotional and deeply personal exploration of abuse. There’s little in the way of metaphor or symbolism here. The lyrics are raw and visceral, born from the personal experience of vocalist Bianca Quiñones Cruz Benitez and written in a manner that tackles painful subjects such as rape and mental illness directly. Amidst these traumatic topics however are themes of healing, defiance and solidarity, as seen in most notably in the songs ‘Semillas’ and ‘Our Bodies, Our Choice’. These tracks are written just as powerfully as their darker counterparts and delivered with the same vocal ferocity by Benitez.
The San Antonio based group has established something of a reputation for their politically charged songwriting.
Speaking of delivery, that same anger that typifies the lyrics also finds itself manifest in the instrumentation. Amygdala draw on a wide number of musical influences, from old school metalcore in the vein of Converge or Integrity to black metal, particularly in the aforementioned ‘Our Bodies, Our Choice’, all used to tremendous effect.
I honestly feel Amygdala have crafted something truly special here. Through Our Voices Will Soar Forever, one sees hardcore at its best, as catharsis and liberation. Like I said at the start, I know this won’t be an easy sell but if anything I’ve written here has piqued your interest, please check this incredible record out.