WORDS: SEAN HUBBARD | PHOTO: MATT GABEL (LIVE) ABBIE SHIPPERLEY (MAIN)
Despite being a fixture in the hardcore scene for the majority of the decade, 2019 has truly been the breakout year of Renounced, with their third album Beauty Is A Destructive Angel elevating the band to brand new heights, and after concluding the year with an almost completely sold out tour supporting Knocked Loose throughout Europe and the UK their music has been exposed to far greater audiences than ever before. Considering the album only released in September, for it to have propelled the band so far in only four months is a testament to the strength of Renounced’s throwback genre of metalcore – in their own words “We had a slow start this year, but since the release of the album we’ve completely hit the ground running.”
Despite being hailed as the British breakthrough band of 2019, Renounced are not new to the scene, with this breakout record actually coming as their third full-length release. They’ve been an underground band for years, becoming a permanent fixture at smaller hardcore festivals, however guitarist and songwriter Dan Rayner feels that “This is our breakthrough into the bigger world of metal music,” and that it already feels like a step up simply because they’ve never been involved in press before now. It is certainly Renounced’s time to shine, having watched many of their contemporaries breakthrough into the ‘mainstream’ of heavy music in the last few years, but Dan said the band had no jealousy towards any of their successful friends, instead feeling that “we’ve just been plodding along waiting for our moment.”
“This is our breakthrough into the bigger world of metal music,”
The release of Beauty Is A Destructive Angel has certainly been their moment, and the amount of work put into the record shows how hard the band strove for perfection with their third album. Rayner began writing the album alongside fellow guitarist Sammy Urwin (of Employed To Serve) in 2016 when Sammy joined the band, and the addition of Urwin to the writing team created a very different vibe than Renounced’s previous efforts and one that Rayner feels contributed to the success of the new album.
The band also went completely above and beyond everything they have done before in the recording process, having the album produced by Lewis Johns who also produced records for some of the biggest names in British music today; including Rolo Tomassi, Conjurer and Funeral For A Friend. On previous records the band have always looked back and seen several things that they wished they could change, but with the newest release Rayner says that “We were finally happy with something we’ve recorded on record. We spent a very long time working on these songs and perfecting them.”
“We were finally happy with something we’ve recorded on record.”
Having that extra sense of pride in their work has also definitely contributed to their success since the release of the album, with the majority of their setlists chosen from the newest record it is no wonder that it is their most successful to date – having reached the biggest number of fans that they have ever performed to on the recent Knocked Loose tour, which in turn has fuelled sales and streams of the album. Interestingly while speaking to Dan he said one of his favourite shows of tour (alongside their hometown show in London) was actually in Venice, a city not normally known for metal or hardcore, however the crowd were completely crazy. He also loved how all across Europe the crowds were pretty full for every band on the bill – which meant that Renounced were (hopefully) able to convince thousands of Knocked Loose fans to check out their record.
Of course Sammy’s commitment to Employed To Serve has meant missing out on several tours during his time in Renounced, including their most recent one, however Dan doesn’t feel that this sets them back due to the presence of their ‘unofficial sixth member’ fill-in guitarist Andy Beliën who has history with the band and is well experienced in playing alongside them. The whole band “love seeing Employed To Serve succeed, but undoubtedly it would make our lives easier if he was solely in Renounced,” but they are happy with the set up they have currently with Andy and it makes everyone satisfied. So this is it, it seems Renounced are finally unstoppable, and with it are soon becoming a game changer in the UK heavy scene.
Beauty Is A Destructive Angel is out now on Holy Roar Records