Blood Stands Still
Salvation Through Struggle
posted on 8/2008 By:
Hardcore is not typically known for pushing the musical boundaries, whether in atmosphere or complexity. Rather, it is a style that tends to fold back in on itself, occasionally branching out, but then returning to its roots. And so it is with southern Californian foursome Blood Stands Still, whose latest album plays it safe by sticking to the established sound.
Salvation Through Struggle hits hard, but they keep it primitive with breakdowns, choppy riffs, chords galore, gang vocals, and an angst that was undoubtedly forged in the gridlock of SoCal traffic. The primary vocals are a very garbled shout that is just barely decipherable. Song lengths are all kept in the two-minute range, which doesn’t give them much time to develop, but then again, that isn’t really the point. Hit hard, hit fast. They don’t have quite as much groove or catchiness as Hatebreed, and they don’t break it down as often as a Full Blown Chaos.
Their riffs sounds really punchy, which is aided by the drum-heavy production which tends to mute out any characteristic tones the guitars could have. But that isn’t much of a concern here, as soloing (and really the highest four strings in general) are non-existant. “War Burns Through Me” and “No Holds Barred” have a classic, chord-driven hardcore sound, while other songs such as “I Will Defy” take a more metal approach. On the whole, it’s hard to differentiate one song from another.
Blood Stands Still’s current release is in no danger of revolutionizing the genre, but it has its moments. I’m pretty neutral towards the album, but this could be a good album to load onto the ipod for a hard workout. Hardcore aficionados may want to take note, but the genre has more compelling bands for the rest of us.
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