Happening – In the Middle of the Seas

Geplaatst: november 22, 2015 in CD Reviews
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Happening - In the Middle of the Seas

Send the Wood Music, 2015 (7,8/10)

In my time writing for the Dutch webzine Zware Metalen, I discovered a lot of cool, unknown and new bands. One of them was a French group called Happening, who released their first EP Birth in 2013. My first encounter with their music was a very pleasant one, and it was a relief hearing a new band with really focused material. They took their time for a debut album, but finally, In the Middle of the Seas has arrived.

In the Middle of the Seas starts with the track It’s All About Suffering, which is a clear evidence that Happening has progressed significantly in two years. The tone is a lot darker and melancholic compared to the material on the EP and the overall sound is way heavier. When the chorus arrives, I know why Happening stood out from the pack of new bands in 2013: they know how to write good choruses that strike the right balance between abrasive and anthemic. Happening is definitely on the organic and ”hard side” of the post-hardcore spectrum, you can hear a band like Thrice in the subtle and atmospheric guitar parts, but Happening also delivers a bouncing rhythm section and angular riffs that remind me of Feed the Rhino. Anthony Diliberto’s vocals are mostly clean with a rough edge to it, he has a lot more personality in his voice in contrast to the EP.

While In the Middle of the Seas is definitely a more modern sounding album, a track like Week After Week is still a case of delicious 90’s alternative rock worship. It was released shortly after the EP as a single, and you can hear that, it is different from the rest of the album. The song sounds like a collaboration between Helmet and Therapy?, which is a compliment. Happening also broadens their horizons on the track Ghost that starts with a delicate, post-rock like guitar melody while transitioning to their strong characteristic post-hardcore sound after a minute, and ending with an orchestral tinge. They are really playing with dynamics on Ghost, making it the best track on the album.

The band sounds refined without losing the raw potential from the EP and that makes me happy. As a whole, the album could probably use some more variation, but that is nit-picking from my side. The performances from the band members on the record are energetic and the vocals are full of passion and emotion, and that’s what I want to hear in music. Happening delivers a strong debut album with In the Middle of the Seas.

Listen to the album: In the Middle of the Seas

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