ALBUM REVIEW: Borders – Bloom Season


Any band who knows how to blur the lines between two styles that are normally considered drastically different deserves some praise for that alone, and groups like Lincoln, UK’s Borders continue to push those boundaries. Their sophomore album Bloom Season (Arising Empire) ventures further on their seamless mingling of metalcore and hip-hop, yet there is no shortage of either genre’s core elements. While some tracks may embrace one over the other, the balance is consistent, making for a record easily accessible to a wide range of music fans.


Starting tracks ‘Fade To Black’ and ‘Fix This’ make a strong introduction with their metalcore hooks and feisty rap verses. ‘Suffer’ stands out with its innovation in vocal layers to create a tone that almost sounds both clean and heavy at the same time, followed by vocalist Jordan “JJ” Olifent chanting “I won’t suffer, I won’t self-destruct. I won’t suffer, ‘cause I’m rising up.” Among a slew of thought-provoking anti-establishment lyrics, this song is straightforward with what Borders is all about.

The more hip-hop leaning songs have an emo rap performance that sets a dark ambient tone. What’s captivating about these is hearing how they escalate into their metal aspects – in ‘NWWM’ the vocals evolve in their heaviness while maintaining the rap-like flow, then return to their original state once the chunky guitar riffs jump in. ‘I Get High’ on the other hand, has a different approach with a more sudden change in energy. The hip-hop parts are pure hip-hop, and the metalcore parts are pure metalcore, but the gut-punching change from keyboard twinkles to devastating screams makes the division worth it.


While the repetition of rumbling guitar chugs can get old after a while, they luckily mixed up that department a bit more for the final few songs. Incorporating more leads, ‘Cut The Rope’ stands out with its spacey riffs and subtle astral effects that match up to what may be the catchiest chorus of the album. ‘MDM’ holds one of the more dynamic breakdowns, throwing turbulent twists and turns of pinch harmonics and dissonant licks left and right. Paired with the canorous solo ending, it’s a strong penultimate song to prepare you for the closing title track’s rip-roaring riffs and underlying guitar melodies that bring a new depth to the heavy vocals.


Whether you need a cathartic release or motivation to fight against authority, Borders have got you covered with Bloom Season. And whether you’re in the mood for some chill lofi beats or storming breakdowns, this record can fulfill either one of those needs too.

Buy the album here:


7 / 10