Old Belief | New Despair by Copse

Release date: August 11, 2023
Label: Church Road Records

On it’s 2022 debut Mara | Mondrem, Copse issued two tracks of blistering post-black metal which was elevated from a post-hardcore base. In its urgency was also an uplifting positivity mixed in the the blackened negation, with second release Old Belief | New Despair the band has transgressed those lines further. While dipping further into post-hardcore but also more into post-black the band continues to expand its horizons whilst never losing its direction.

‘New Despair’ is a monster of a track which sees the world of post-hardcore collide with the post-black aesthetics in a real story of two halves. The first half is more towards vocalist Edward Gibbs founding with Devil Sold His Soul while the later rips like the anger of Svalbard whilst bringing back the fondest moments of Rinoa, it is a glorious 14 minutes. Copse manages to bring great positivity through the guitars whilst everything else is combining to try and take them down. Drummer Ryan Westwood is absolutely phenomenal here and the tone of his battering is recorded with the usual precision by Jonny Renshaw that allows each and every hit to be audible whilst not getting in the way of the melee from the other musicians.

That marriage of band and producer/mixer/master works so well for Copse and its expansive sound. Even in the more direct attack of ‘Old Belief’ the battle of ecstatic transcendental post-hardcore with the darker tinges from the black metal is balanced perfectly. It gives for a perfect mix of anger, pain, relief and despair. It also sounds extremely fresh with a clarity and heaviness which is hard to come by. Copse continue to impress and Old Belief | New Despair leaves me very excited for what is to come from the five piece, especially with the hook-up with one of the UK’s most consistent labels in Church Road Records.

Copse are appearing at Arctangent on Saturday this weekend, opening the Bixler stage at 11:35.

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