Review: This Routine Is Hell – Repent. Repeat. EP

This Routine Is Hell‘s old biography tells us the following: “The words tell the story of a few pissed off teenagers with a bunch of critical minds and a love for loudness beyond measure.” Well, these teenagers from Utrecht (NL) clearly went on, growing up with “Repent. Repeat.,” their new 6-song EP. Repent. Repeat. will be released on Shield Recordings, and is now presented on the band’s well designed website.

Debut album The Verve Crusade showed a lot of Paint it Black influences and love for agressive hardcore punk; like a young band still searching for its definitive sound. This is something they’ve clearly found on Repent. Repeat., a record that goes a lot deeper music wise than its predecessor.

Opener ‘Without Spirit, We Roam’ for example, reminds me of the Violence Violence era from Ceremony. It’s an intense and slow build up to ‘Repent. Repeat.,’ the fast paced second song of the EP. ‘Shine’, and ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ both give an interesting twist to this EP. The songs are clearly influenced by 90’s screamo/emo, while still maintaining that angry and honest hardcore vibe. ‘Repulse’ is also a remarkable track, and much more melodic than their previous work, while opening and ending with a very intense and sludgy riff.

The overall theme on Repent. Repeat. is human behavior. The band asserts the progress of human development, but questions our moral sense. The title track quotes Friedrich Nietzsche’s controversial book The Antichrist: “What’s happiness? The feeling that power increases, that resistance is overcome. Not contentment, but more power.  Not peace at any price, but war. Not virtue, but efficiency. The weak and the botched shall perish.”

This Routine Is Hell is far from perishing. The band has made a huge progression, and developed a sound of their own in the past couple of years. Still brutally honest and intense like before, but with a much wider range of musical influences. And that’s the special thing about this EP; it’s sounds like a carefully arranged whole, while still displaying a diverse pallet of sounds.

Track list – Repent. Repeat. EP

1. Without Spirit, We Roam
2. Repent. Repeat.
3. Shine
4. Memories Are Haunting Me
5. Repulse
6. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Written by Niels Koster

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