Melbourne alt-metal outfit Belle Haven have released their latest five track effort, Time Changes Nothing. The EP was inspired by frontman David De La Hoz’s arduous journey with mental health, where it becomes an unapologetical soundtrack to his struggle that takes us right inside his mind.
Panicked drum fills and chugging instruments reinforce a sense of isolation throughout the EP. The opener‘Take Your Pill’ powerfully introduces the emotional honesty present throughout the project. I am electromagnetic,’ De La Hoz a nod to the suffering he endured since the release.
"In mid-2018 I was admitted to hospital to undergo a form of psychiatric treatment that involved regularly pumping an electromagnetic pulse through a part of my brain..."
Yet ‘Mistakes’ grounds the EP with a positive spin on melancholy. De La Hoz’s unique ability to blend seemingly hopeless lyrics with uplifting melody is the throughline of hope tying together the tracks. Relentless riffs intensify ‘Nobody Likes A Hospital’ - a striking discourse with nihilism, the band cry out, ‘I don’t think happiness is real, cause let me tell you, I sure don’t cry in the shower cause I like the way it feels’ .
Providing comfort in the uncomfortable, ‘Hopeless, Empty, Lonely, Pain’ hits us like a 2000’s pop-punk anthem, ‘I’ve had a noose in the back of my car for about three years / it’s just in case / a permanent bandaid, should I need it’ rings more jovially than it reads. Yet an infectious vibrato compels us to keep listening in the most hopeful moments of the record in ‘I don’t want to be like this anymore’.
Closing the EP like a vault door, ‘Stranger Memories’ features double kicks and riffs that evoke a schitzophrenic head banging fit for a padded cell. One feels that De La Hoz is screaming to convince himself that it is only a part of him that is the problem.
This EP feels like a tightly held diary - artistic in the sense that Belle Haven poses the right questions, trying to quantify the world and themselves through their music.
Having wished for a hand to hold in a hospital bed, Belle Haven offer theirs to anyone searching. The silver lining Belle Haven searches for is found in Time Changes Nothing, as much as it’s existence is a testament to persevering in the face of hardship, its also tremendously good music.
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