Release DetailsLABEL Ferret Music
RELEASED ON 1/27/2004
Women and Children Die First
posted on 2/2004 By:
My apologies for the sudden change from MetalReview.com to MetalcoreReview.com, but truth is the genre, while saturated is becoming as important for American Music as Death metal was a decade ago. Plus- they send ‘em, we review’em.
Anyway, with that bold statement out of the way, Orange County’s Remembering Never, apparently unhappy with their last outing She Looks so Good in Red and its rather emo/screamo visage as well as the hardcore scene in general, have downtuned their guitars, furrowed their brows and belted out an album that kicks Poison the Well’s You Come Before You squarely in the nuts. Wholly bereft of metalcore originality, but containing vast amounts of entertaining massive riffs and burly breakdowns, Remembering Never gets my award for one of the better productions I’ve heard in the genre, almost over produced, Women and Children Die First rumbles with a resonance of an earth quake, that gives the songwriting character regardless of their sometimes flat structures. This production masks the fact that Remembering Never are pretty much Poison the Well clones circa Tear from the Red; emotional semi melodies centered around barked vocals with the occasional clean break, but most importantly some of the better breakdowns I've heard in a while. Whereas Poison The Well were masters of the builds and brooding melody, RN are slightly less gifted in the harmony department, instead though, their crushing, if telegraphed breakdowns are wholly waylaying, and almost always get bigger with each chord. I generally enjoyed or remembered the songs based on the length and girth of the breakdowns often forgetting completely the rest of the song composition.
Faster, more chaotic moments are well done but seem limited by the band's choice, as they seem far more comfortable at a mid paced chug or gallop, which suits the band’s production well as any intricate riffage would be simply swallowed by the mammoth sound. “From My Cold Dead Hands”, initially flirts with some up-tempo before settling into one of the album's better grooves and clean breaks that’s not a lumbering monster. I get the feeling RN are one of the few bands content in keeping things simple rather than wow the listener with complexities that often go unheard.
Lyrically, RN seems pretty ruefully focused in the wrongs of the world, rather than the teenage diary drivel of lost passion and wanton love. (In a small note, RN have song titles that make sense instead of outwit the listener: “Closed Caskets”, “Incisions”, and the “The Color of Blood and Money” didn’t have me scratching my head when I got to reading the lyrics). Peter Kowalsky keeps his vocal approach to a simple and effective bellow that further enforces the PTW comparison to Jeffery Moriera. The odd vocal clean break appears but as if to directly quell the PTW comparison (and this review), but they are pretty short and fit well in the overall scheme of things, especially on “Plotting a Revolution in A Minor”
Speaking of lyrics, last track, “Serenading This Dead Horse”, is one to take note of as it seems to be cathartic, not only acknowledging their last album's shortcomings and scene pandering but decrying the hardcore scene in general: “Step back, screaming your hymns of heartache at the top of your lings, this bandwagon is on its last legs, how long will you beat this dead horse?”. Interesting take that certainly challenges hardcore/metalcore to take at look at itself before it becomes oversaturated with clichés.
A pretty solid, satisfying album that I think Remembering Never can be proud of, it doesn’t try to force anything outside of its own musical realms, instead providing a steady stream of trapezoid numbing breakdowns and adequate fills between them. Nice.
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