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DEPARTED - New Jersey
FFO: Dark heavy hardcore/metal

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An eye for an eye proverbially makes the whole world blind, but in the case of Departed, such violence is merely a means to an end. After all, in the gritty world of heavy hardcore, sometimes anger in and of itself doesn’t quite cut it. Sometimes you need to toe the line and cross directly into undistilled rage--which is, incidentally, an ethos and emotional mindset that suits this New Jersey/Pennsylvania outfit pretty damn well. Equal parts pugilistic and belligerent, this crew delivers hard-hitting hardcore with a notably dark aesthetic. Taking significant influence from black and death metal, Departed sits between a variety of styles and influences, but will undoubtedly find common ground with fans of Hatebreed, Fury of V, Whitechapel, and All Out War.

Departed present a veritable aural cagematch. Both sonically and thematically, subtlety isn’t exactly their strong suit--but that’s kind of the point. Described by Decibel as a “wrecking crew” willing to “bulldoze everything in their path,” nothing here is delicate or gentle. The East Coast hardcore swagger is puncuated by blackened extremity and the sheer heft of Disgorge-ian death. It’s an intrinsically aggressive sound, well-suited to the pit--an arena Departed are quite familiar with. No strangers to the scene, Departed have graced the stage at a bevy of shows, including This Is Hardcore 2017 and 2018, Tsunami Fest, EKB Fest, Winter Jam 2020, and Upstate Records’ own Family and Friends Fest 2020.

Having previously released a demo via Blasphemour and two albums--Darkness Takes Its Throne and No Redemption--via Fast Break, this May will see the release of Departed’s fourth effort, their first since signing with Upstate Records. If you’re familiar with their prior work and particular brand of dark brutality, Darkness Reigns is as formidable, brutish, and pissed off as you’ve undoubtedly come to expect. If you’re unfamiliar, now is an excellent time to get acquainted. Prepare yourself accordingly for a beatdown.


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