Release DetailsLABEL Dies Irae Records
RELEASED ON 2/16/2006
Silence Is Not Golden
posted on 3/2006 By:
North East Hardcore with Metal undertones...
Hardcore never dies. It takes on whatever it needs and it soldiers on. Ever since the excitement of the original crossover scene, hardcore has developed a violently metallic undercarriage, and metal has developed an occasionally hardcore powertrain of its own. The two styles cross paths more often than either scene probably wants to admit, and with varying degrees of success. Reviewing metal/hardcore records, whether metalcore, melodeath or screamo is a problematic task. Intent is vital in hardcore, while results are more relevant in metal. But in the end the review is not for any style of music. It's for the poor fucker who is wondering whether or not to spend his spare change on a record.
As such, regardless of intent we are always looking at results, and we are comparing it to the entire spectrum of metal records. A great record stands on its own. A great "hardcore" record with "metal" aspects may very well come off lacking when stacked against all the metal genre has to offer. So when I tell you that this is a goddamned searing hardcore release with a definite metal sense of melody and chutzpa, yet I dock it a little in the end, you the reader have to decide if your tastes in music should give the numbers I use a little boost. Or a little shave, maybe.
For all that shit, I am thoroughly enjoying this record. It's definitely a hardcore record; Crushing chords, a touch of riffing, organic breakdowns, hollered vocals. No dandy-whining. No Maiden-wannabe harmonized licks. No intricate solos or rhythms. It goes for the gut and uses metal basics to rip flesh wide instead of delicately incise. It has a definite old school intent and pulls no punches nor makes apologies. It's what it is, fuckers. Deal.
And "what it is" is something a huge number of other bands have done, are doing and will do. Evey town has a scene, and every scene has the hardcore band with metal flashing. Or three or four. It's a safe bet everyone reading this has heard a record just about like this before. The only thing giving this thing its edge is the sheer bullshitlessness of the performance and recording. It's a professionally engineered fist fight from start to end. North East coast style, steak and potatoes.
As far as musicianship and songwriting are concerned, the only thing worth mentioning is the strangely drawn out "Empire of Grief", a not particularly successful 11 minute long epic. I can't decide what made anyone think this was a good idea. Essentially it's just two four minute songs joined by some atmospheric noises. It doesn't change the impact of the songs, but it does drag on longer than one might have wished. And the song that follows is the same song that ends this thing. Silly, pointless... Why? Other than this, everything is straightforward. Everyone can play well enough to sound like pros.
Bottom Line: Apart from the above mentioned strangeness, this is a flatten your nose hardcore record with just enough riffing and variance to get the metal tag. It is a satisfying piece of music but I really doubt that anything other than the rabid crossover types will find it anything other than "good". I can recommend it in a "if you see it and have the money" kind of way, rather than in a "kill your friends and steal their money, travel to Connecticut and buy the CD from the band at a show" kind of way.
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