Release DetailsLABEL Ferret Music
RELEASED ON 8/1/2005
posted on 9/2005 By:
Yeah, this is “MetalReview”, but it’s high time to review a new release from the New York hardcore scene stalwarts of Madball. Furthermore, the album is pretty damn heavy as it is. I bought this album on my own a few days before we even received the promo, because Madball and I go back about a decade. They’ve grown and changed since my introduction to them, 1994’s Set it Off, which was a display of textbook NYHC, including those 40-second-long songs that the style is known for. The band lineup is also ever-changing, but always based around the core of Freddy on the vocals and Hoya on the bass.
While most people that I talk to consider the duo of Set it Off and Demonstrating My Style to be their best works, I’ve always felt that their last two albums were enjoyable enough, even as the band moved into more accessible territory, trying to write actual songs rather than powerful sub-two minute outbursts. Very similar to the shift that Hatebreed underwent between Satisfaction… and Perseverance. So now after a five-year hiatus, Madball is back with an album that is at least as good as anything they’ve released post-DMS.
They haven’t gone back to a pure-NYHC style in terms of song structure, but the sound definitely shows a hardcore heritage, more so than most of what is dubbed hardcore nowadays. (But maybe I’m just showing my years.) The riffing is also some of the best they’ve written in a few albums. Keep in mind that the word technicality has no business in a Madball review, I’m talking about fist-pumping groove riffs. These riffs play well with Freddy’s gritty bark, and I’m not usually one to say anything about lyrics (usually because they are indistinguishable in most of what I review), but he opens up quite a bit here, lending authenticity to the album. Although, there is still plenty of tough-guy attitude as expected.
“Damned” brings the tough-guy attitude with urgent riffing, clocking in at a mammoth 2:22, in contrast to the hard-hitting, Spanish-sung “100%”, which is barely over a minute. “Adapt and Overcome” is a strong way to start the album, even if it’s a bit brief, but it’s followed by the three minute epic, “Heaven and Hell”, probably as complete a song as they have on the album, with repeated choruses and of course…the mandatory breakdown. “Darkest Days” shows the most heart, devoted to someone who helped him out during a hard time.
Legacy is a surprisingly strong release for such a veteran band coming off of a long hiatus, or so I think. Obviously you have to have an inclination towards hardcore to enjoy this, but it’s an aggressive, forceful album that may appeal to a wider swath than expected. Don’t expect anything transcendent, just a nice album for the car or for the gym.
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