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Stronger Than All: Jesus Piece — ...So Unknown Review

The sophomore LP stands tall as a prominent musical driving force in a league of its own.

Photograph by Kayla Menze

Words by Luis (@heaviestofart):

Similar to the death metal renaissance that is occurring as of late, hardcore is booming with the same enthusiasm that finds bands both new and old delivering big, both on stage and in studio. Jesus Piece are among the protagonists of this contemporary resurgence with debut album, Only Self (2018), catapulting them into a spotlight defined by an equally explosive live performance. Since then, the band remained steadfast on touring, reflecting, and preparing their sophomore album, ...So Unknown, which arrives on April 14th via Century Media.

...So Unknown is definitive of a comprehensive composition boasting an expansive songcraft, the likes of which grows tenfold with each subsequent listen. It wastes no time and employs no opening cinematic passages as In Constraints rips right in with Aaron Heard's blood-curling roars. Fear of Failure follows it up with an introduction reminiscent of a battle anthem, slowly building with intermittent tremolo picking that escalates into a razor sharp riff. In short, the track is downright uncompromising. Randy LeBouef's production and mixing expertise is on full display here as Fear of Failure shines on boldly and bombastic. Guitarists David Updike and John DiStefano do right on their end and showcase their talents through Profane, a sure to be fan favorite with its exquisite groove backed by mid-tempo drums. Like lead single, Gates of Horn, Profane is a shape-shifting beast that alternates in pace and speaks highly of the band's compositional palette.

Aside from the exceptional guitar and bass work present throughout, the vigor and grit of frontman Aaron Heard propels each track to new heights as Luis Aponte positions himself in a league of his own. Though already known to be a drumming stronghold, ...So Unknown proves to be his magnum opus. Lead single, An Offering To The Night, sports ruthless screams, infectious flows, and polyrhythms to bask in, never once settling to a comfortable formula. Instead, Jesus Piece thrive in discomfort and excel in providing tracks that unfold with each passing second. The band's grit is strongly felt on selections like FTBS that will have listeners screaming along to Heard's anthemic "fuck the bullshit" cries, followed by one of the best and slow-burning breakdowns from the entire album.

Only Self was a formidable entry into the flooded ranks of the hardcore arena that set expectations high for an eventual follow-up, expectations that Jesus Piece now broke and further heightened from the opening barrage that is In Constraints to the merciless closer of The Bond. There is little breathing room to be had throughout ...So Unknown as the band put every ounce of heart into every layer present within the momentous ten tracks. It's truly a culminating act for a band with a respected work ethic to strive for, evident in each member's performing abilities. This is their moment and following their recent participation in what many will consider to be one of the most memorable tours of recent years, a continued upwards trajectory is not just assumed, but guaranteed. Lucky those who get to experience it, ourselves included.

...So Unknown arrives April 14th via Century Media (Order).

Cover Artwork by LAZYGAWD

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