WORDS: MICHAEL WOODWORTH

midst the uncertainty of a global pandemic and what seems like an all out war revolving around democracy, the arts are on the backburner of everyone’s minds. The music scene has all but died with venues around the country shut down indefinitely due to COVID-19, some closing their doors for good. To some bands, hiatuses loom and ways have been parted, but for metal outfit Boundaries, they are taking everything in stride and releasing a new album.

“It’s the only thing keeping me going really, with no shows to look forward to,” says vocalist Matthew McDougal. “When you are touring throughout the year, those are the little things you look forward to; little events that pull you along the way, but the past six months have been wake up, make coffee and go to bed at six A.M. and wake up, make coffee go to bed at six A.M.”

“IT’S THE ONLY THING KEEPING ME GOING…”

“Your Receding Warmth” is the debut album via Unbeaten Records from the Connecticut-based group, highlighting yet another stellar release in an obviously resilient genre. A culmination of five quick years of hard work and rigorous schedules blows everything wide open in the new record. The band worked with Randy Lebeouf and Graphic Nature Audio, which was new for the band. Previously working with Dan Colombo in Nashville, the group would have loved to go back but a fifteen hour commute was out of the equation. Lebeouf came highly recommended and is luckily a state and a half over. Even though they were closer to home, they still had to give 110%.

“I was there the whole day; I was there day one and the last one to leave,” mentions McDougal. “All in all, it was close to a month, three and a half weeks. I drove down there and slept in my car on the street and [I would] wake up, go in there and bang out a recording all day and then go get Taco Bell and go back to sleep in my car.”

The experiences drawn for the songs on the album hit very personal spots for McDougal. One of the singles, “Carve,” paints a narrative of missing loved ones and replacing emptiness with anything around you. McDougal hopes fans can see and hear themselves in the music and the lyrics, relating to the music in a way that transforms them for the better. 

“i realized it’s not my fault…”

“‘Carve’ is the story of how my relationship ended and how that allowed a very negative person into my life,” confesses McDougal. “Some of the more traumatizing experience I’ve had romantically happened with this person as far as coming home to some of my stuff being broken and getting hit and shit like that; not my proudest moment but i realized it’s not my fault and it took me awhile to separate from that person because when you’re hurting, you make excuses for that type of behavior.”

A debut album is a huge accomplishment but it also thrusts bands a little more into the spotlight and for material as personal and raw as what McDougal put in his work, it is a step in the right direction. Boundaries may have only been around for five years, but “Your Receding Warmth” is just the tip of the iceberg.

“As far as trying to take that step up to the first LP, we really shot our shot,” shares McDougal. “You know an EP, it is easy, you can do it in a basement and you can mix your own stuff and master your own stuff and it is kind of okay and you just put it out because people want music but for a first full length record, I always considered it more of a an adult transition into the endgame of music. Now I’m writing records, I’m not just writing five songs.”

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