Release DetailsLABEL Deathwish Inc
RELEASED ON 6/26/2007
A New Beat From A Dead Heart
posted on 6/2007 By:
All but completely out of the loop when it comes to hardcore punk and the bands that perform within its borders, I naively assumed that California based scream outfit 108 were nothing more than a run of the mill copycat act that had spent a little too much time going over their Bad Brains and Converge albums with a fine tooth comb, halfway abandoning any concept of innovation for cut and paste imitation. However, after minimal fact fishing and exploration of earlier releases I've come to find that my premature assessment couldn't have been any further from truth; in fact, the west coast quartet is and has been a highly regarded influence among scene peers for over fifteen years. After a decade-long hiatus, the mighty maelstrom returns with A New Beat From A Dead Heart, their most profound undertaking to date.
The fourth full-length studio effort in their now continuing legacy, A New Beat From A Dead Heart is a thirteen track testament to 108's ongoing importance in the hardcore community and a literal metaphor of what listeners can expect over the next thirty-four and a half minutes once they've pressed the play button. From the very first note of "Declarations On A Grave" all the way through the final rumblings of "Repeat", the band's mission is unquestionable: inject new life and new ideas into an overly congested and crumbling scene, much the way they did so many years prior. Are they successful in their attempts? For the most part, yes.
With a general blueprint that effectively rests Robert Fish's poignant vocal contortions atop a disharmonic wall of noise, each song is a jarring burst of undiluted intensity that ends in aural devastation. Though A New Beat From A Dead Heart offers spastic satisfaction from top to bottom, the most prominent of climaxes ensue on more dynamic tracks around the middle of the disc, such as the dissonant "Resurrect To Destroy" and "Three-Hundred Liars", the thrash-laden "Angel Strike Man" and "Martyr Complex", and finally the virtually unhinged "Our Kind". By the conclusion of the first spin, despite my only brief brush with bands of this sort, A New Beat From A Dead Heart had taken me by surprise and opened my eyes and mind to what the scene's finer acts may have to offer if given the proper chance.
With a production (courtesy of Converge's own Kurt Ballou) that is as gritty as it is gleaming, A New Beat From A Dead Heart captures the cohesion of chaos and clarity that is 108. Out of nowhere the band has crafted a passionate and energetic landmark of an album that by far surpasses their previous efforts and redefines the modern hardcore punk design.
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