In certain circles Johnny Truant have been held responsible for a return to form of British metal and their second album In The Library Of Horific Events certainly proves the validity of such a suggestion. This is not to say that the album is perfect but its definitely a powerful statement of the band’s ability.
blistering and powerful, sitting comfortably on the metal side of hardcore
Meatier, heavier, harsher and an all-round better offering than its predecessor (2002’s Repercussions of a Badly-Planned Suicide), In the library… shows off a bigger stylistic and technical range and draws on different traditions to create a diverse and compelling album. Tracks such as energetic opening pair “I Love You Even Though you’re a Zombie Now” and “The Bloodening” are blistering and powerful, sitting comfortably on the metal side of hardcore. Follower “Realist Surrealist”, however, offers example (alongside final track “Footprints in the Thunder”) of how the band do sometimes slide dangerously close to emo territory, which they have previously tended towards but do well to shift away from and avoid here; instead of whole-heartedly crossing the line though either the chord progressions shift back into classic metal riffs or singer Olly Mitchell’s vocals switch to another of the several different styles he possesses and makes full use of.
The band have mastered an impressive variety within songs but the overall diversity of the album becomes apparent as it reaches “Vultures”, a shorter, more reflective instrumental track (which actually sounds strangely like Isis reinterpreting Metallica). And following this is the fastest, blasting speed-riffage/drumming on the album (on “A Day In The Death”); the most frenetic I’ve heard for a while, at least thats not come from an all-out grind band. As with all of the songs here, it has much more to offer than the one style which it starts out as. The songs move through fast/slow changes, stops/starts, screams/growls, big and heavy low-end chord riffs/faster and higher guitar work; I could continue. The album finishes with an epic three blended tracks of which the first, “Necropolis Junction”, although not necessarily having the same classic metal-barrage feel of the openers which have more instant hit, stands out as one of the best album tracks with its carefully constructed and darker riffing.
there is a definite classic metal sound which permeates the album
The band have comparison points to metal/hardcore bands like Converge, Botch or Knut but there is a definite classic metal sound which permeates the album. The influence of Maiden, Sabbath and others can be heard in the guitar work, and the saturation of harmonics is at very least a subconscious nod to those such as glam-thrash era Pantera. The band’s association with bands like Killswitch Engage (whose guitarist produced the album) and Isis (former tour partners) can also be felt.
In The Library of Horrific Events is not necessarily the most revolutionary album that you’ve ever heard but exists as a very decent album in opposition to much more commercial metal/hardcore, and it sets itself nicely in a metal tradition. Johnny Truant have proved themselves to be a more than impressive talent and definitely one of the major forces in modern British metal. Hopefully they can build on this to create something even better, and maybe with an even longer title.