So yeah, again a band from Texas... It seems all I do these days is post about bands from Texas! Fuck it tho, Second Wind is well worth posting about... They started out in late 2018 and released a demo in early 2019. After completing their line-up with members from local deathcore band Breathing Forever, Second Wind recorded the 'Testament Of Pain' EP and wow, what a banger it is! As I mentioned above, it starts off with a heavy intro with a basic but very effective riff, the singer shouting the band name, and then the riff is played at double speed before slowing down again. Nothing that hasn't been done before, but fuck me if it isn't an effective way to start an EP! The intro seamlessly goes into first song 'Writ', which sets the tone perfectly for the rest of this EP. Heavy mid- to up-tempo metalcore with crushing slow parts and shouted vocals with occasional heavier vocals to mix things up nicely.
Guitarist and founding member Michael told me their influences include bands like Knocked Loose, Year Of The Knife and All Out War. I also hear a healthy dose of Disembodied in some of their riffs and they way they are structured, and for the Euro's among us, Belgian band xDevourx also comes to my mind quite a bit. Which is also due to the vocals, which are more shouted and hoarse than deep or grunted, occasionally bringing in a second, deeper, voice... It compliments their sound really well! The band also makes sure to switch up tempo often enough to keep things interesting, while maintaining the heaviness throughout, and adding a few breakdowns here and there to spice things up. It's also cool Second Wind understands how to keep things heavy even with fast up-tempo metalcore, for instance in 'Pitch Black' which switches tempos and riffs a lot while still sounding like a coherent song. Great stuff! My favorite track on here has to be 'Destined To Rot' tho, which has some killer riffs and a massive slow breakdown that simply crushes. But there's not a bad track to be found here.
The lyrics to final track 'Thin Blue Crime' feels awfully relevant, chilling and prescient given the recent events surrounding George Floyd, Breona Taylor and so many more before and since. The other songs seem to deal with more abstract themes, including despair and religion if I read them right.
So far 2020 has been a massively crazy year in so many fucked up ways, but at least we still have young new bands putting out great stuff! This might just end up in my best of 2020 list, even if only for the amount of times I've listened to this... Second Wind is also planning to do a split sometime later this year, so look forward to that one as well!