Boundaries Weaponize Despair On 'Death Is Little More'

Boundaries Weaponize Despair On 'Death Is Little More'

- By Ramon Gonzales

The Connecticut collective asserts hardcore brass with metal execution on an album that explores humanity's darkest corners to tap into something genuinely visceral.

Photo by Sarah Holick 

Distinguishing themselves from the well-established hardcore lineage of Connecticut, metallic aggressors Boundaries first made their introduction in 2017 with their Hartford County Misery EP and would further find their footing with the My Body In Bloom EP two years later. 

Over the course of the net few years, even in the midst of the pandemic stall, Boundaries would gain traction as band, toeing a fine line between metal and hardcore with a well-received full length studio albums starting with Your Receding Warmth which was consumed by the pause of 2020. Just a two years later, the band resurfaced, better honing in on their brand of volatility with the LP, Burying Brightness. 

Building on their amalgam of well constructed hostility and presumably factoring in the lessons learned from subsequent touring, the collective in Boundaries has since sourced the best parts of their previous iterations to become the best version of themselves yet with on the third full length studio album,  Death Is Little More. 

Again entrusting longtime producer and collaborator Randy LeBoeuf (Gideon, The Acacia Strain, Kublai Khan TX), the 12-track presentation offers testament to the band's hardcore ethos, while fully embracing their metallic sensibilities - of which have always a common thread throughout the band's catalog. Further blurring the divide between hardcore and metal, while amping the magnitude of the record, Boundaries enlisted the likes of Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan TX, Lochie Keogh of Alpha Wolf and Marcus Vik of Invent Animate to offer contributions on the latest album - nurturing a community likeminded creators that flout genre lines. 

Speaking to the focus and intentions of the album, Boundaries' vocalist Matt McDougal shared, “Death Is Little More is the culmination of our efforts at their deepest and darkest, We wanted to create something that embraces, frightens, and calls the listener to action. It’s one part diary, and one part doomsday.”

Further explaining the source material for such a bleak, foreboding record, McDougal also explained how the 14th Century poem, "inferno, Canto I" became a jumping off point in terms of theme and creative direction. “Dante mentions dying would be barely any worse than living in a bitter black forest of existence, an idea I took and largely applied to the record thematically. 'Death Is Little More' is about life at its most difficult. You’re not going to end your life, but you’re so stressed and overwhelmed that your life ending would feel like just another incident on the list. The concept stuck with me.”

Equipped with arguably their most complete collection of tracks to date, Boundaries stand on the brink of having their breakout year. As veteran songwriters, their brand has since been better refined, dialing in their influences in a way that is less combination and more cohesive than ever before. Adding in the band's ability to be especially articulate with their aggression - and you have quite the threat. 

Better illuminating the roadmap in arriving at  Death Is Little More, McDougal took Knotfest step-by-step, track-by-track to detail how concept led to execution. The frontman shared the intentional approach in stylizing the stark as a means of amplifying their intensity. As a result, Boundaries have developed a means of weaponizing human emotion on the record - making for a visceral experience that is as compelling as it is well constructed. 



McDougal - This was one of the few songs we had demoed out before going into the studio so I had a lot of time to sit with it lyrically and stylistically. I knew we were making the scary record, I knew I wanted to push the limits of what we were known for as far as making “angry” music and flowery lyrics. My goal was to peel back the mask on all of that. Something to just embody the most visceral kind of anger I could with a vocal delivery to match. A truly murderous internal monologue.



McDougal - This song is a bit more personal than the previous. It applies more to my own life and the feeling of being used as a type of social currency. People wanting to know you and be your friend for only as long as it serves them. The agonizing realization that what they meant to you and what you meant to them never came close to lining up. You share the most vulnerable and emotional moments of your life with someone who will take the first opportunity to pretend you don't exist once that serves them more than being your “friend”. I guess in one word this song is about betrayal.



McDougal - I think this song speaks for itself. Song 1 plus song 2 equals this song. A hyperbolized revenge fantasy.



McDougal - This track is much more in the Boundaries wheelhouse especially if you excuse the big clean chorus. A song of yearning and disappointment, what most of life is composed of. Funny story, for as many people that said the singing in this song felt “out of place” or “didn’t fit” it was the first part of the song we wrote, we built the rest of the song around the chorus. The entitlement of people thinking they understand your vision better than you do is crazy. You by no means have to like it but don’t kid yourself into thinking we misstepped when we have been making music together for a decade, I promise we know what we want to do and how to do it. The sample in this song is from Good Will Hunting because I wrote most of this song after watching that movie for the 1000th time. It was fun translating the themes of that movie into a song with more romantic undertones.




McDougal - Tip your bartender. BMTH’s “Fuck” off TIAHBMISITIAHLKIAS. Holy shit abbreviating that record name is mad funny. We knew we wanted to start a song with Tim singing because we had never done that and we wanted to do it in a way that leaned into some of our less obvious inspirations, as named above.



McDougal - This track plays off concepts from "Darkness Shared" and is less about the personal feelings of betrayal or disappointment from people and more about those things being generally constant in life and how you have to push forward anyway. If you stopped in your tracks every time someone was not who you expected them to be, moving on would be impossible. It’s the first track on the record with some type of a positive undertone. Maybe positive isn’t the word, maybe reconstructive. 

"A PALE LIGHT LINGERS" (feat. Lochie Keogh)


McDougal - I wrote this song after rewatching End of Evangelion. Anyone familiar with that movie will know that story and the extended stories of the show and other films place a lot on the audience to absorb. I extended that particular viewing into a song about human relationships being innately corrupt and the only real way to go through life without hurting anybody is to never be near anyone in the first place. “The only way to win the game is to not play” sort of thing.



McDougal - I wrote this after watching a Rurouni Kenshin movie which was a series I wasn’t very familiar with beforehand but as I’ve said before, I was taking in all the media I could for inspiration on this record. The core of the Rurouni Kenshin story is one of redemption and 'face the blade' is a reference to the sword the main character carries which has the sharp edge facing himself. The song is about introspection and the difficulties you find when trying to improve yourself, step one being that you need to acknowledge what you have done that needs redeeming. 



McDougal - This song plays off of "Face The Blade" and continues the redemption concept against a party that sees what you’ve done as irredeemable. The main character of the show had been a soldier responsible for many deaths that he at the time was able to justify to himself, but what amount of self correcting could ever account for that in a meaningful way. An endless quest to prove yourself to yourself. 

"BLAME'S BURDEN" (feat. Marcus Vik)


McDougal - This song speaks to a fantasy I have found myself in many nights where I have wished to remove myself from the lives of others in an Eternal Sunshine type of way. To have never existed and therefore never hurt anyone or impacted something in a negative way. Again the only way to win is to not play. I spent many years of my life struggling with suicidal thoughts and thankfully that’s not where I am mentally anymore but I think there’s another type of negative thought that lives in that same world where you don’t want to be dead you just want to be forgotten. 

"BLOOD SOAKED SALVATION" (feat. Matt Honeycutt)


McDougal - This song is about kicking ass like a beast.




McDougal - I had a series of very prolific conversations with my therapist that familiarized me with the concept of “negative self talk”. Something I had been doing my whole life without ever considering it could be something I could break out of. Inhale The Grief is a very compartmentalized version of my own mental journey the last few years. The long and short of it is this:  things can and will get better. 


Death Is Little More is now available via 3DOT Recordings. Order the album - HERE 


Be sure to catch Boundaries live as the band continues their current run of tour dates touching down domestically and aboard. This month, Boundaries join Spite and Bodysnatcher for the Dedication to Flesh EU/UK tour.

Next month, Boundaries begin their own headlining stretch on the Death Is Little More Tour with Orthodox, Kaonashi and No Cure riding along as support. A complete list of dates can be found below. Get tickets - HERE

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