Review: Verse – Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace

Verse‘s new record is out today through Bridge Nine Records. The best way to describe this album would be, dazzling. Their latest effort Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace is a 31-minute long masterpiece that vocalist/lyricist Sean Murphy decribes as ” …completely human. The concept is set of life lessons shown to us by the life of a universal mother to all, wrapped in uncertainty and contradiction, and personal firsthand accounts of struggles of family and friends throughout my life.”

Opener ‘The Selfish of the Earth’ gives you a warm welcome to Verse’s realms of sheer greatness. Murphy’s passionate shouts and screams will draw your attention immediately, and drag you along in a, familiar, quest of truth. Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace takes off where Verse had left us with Aggression; with fast paced riffs and fills, guided by vigorous vocals.

However, ‘Selfless of the Earth’ introduces a new dimension to Verse’s familiar sound. Starting out with drum rolls and a simple guitar riff, the song invites you to continue listening. ‘Selfless of the Earh’ presents an interesting progression consisting of a spoken word kind of shouting and guitar solos. A conceptual trial that returns in ‘The Relevance of our Disconnect’ as well.

Also new are the interludes on Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace, taking form as ‘Segue One’, ‘Segue Two’, and ‘Segue Three’. The three intervals create moments of rest on the rowdy quest, tranquil moments to catch your breath, before shredding guitars come back to the picture.

The record consists of a carefully balanced mix of hardcore, punk and a flair of ambient that every hardcore connoisseur should appreciate. Especially the transition between ‘Segue One’ and ‘You And I Are The Fortunate Ones’ made me spill Mountain Dew all over my limited Title Fight merch.

Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace still has that genuine Verse feel, but in a more mature form. You should all go and purchase this record. One of the finest hardcore bands in existence re-united to make this album, and damn, it’s good. We’re glad Verse is back.

Track list – Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace:

1. The Selfish of the Earth
2. The Selfless of the Earth
3. The Silver Spoon and the Empty Plate
4. Setting Fire to the Bridges We Cross
5. Segue One
6. You and I are the Fortunate Ones
7. The End of All Life
8. The Relevance of our Disconnect
9. Segue Two
10. Oceanic Tendencies
11. Finding a Way Out When There is no Way
12. Segue Three
13. The End of all Light

Written by Laurens Kleine and Tim van Reyswoud

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