Normally spoken, when I read the words 'hard' and 'core' together, alarmbells start
ringing as a signal to stear clear as fast as possible. I personally have next to nothing
with the genre, especially the more old-school bands. A few big names like Sick Of It All,
Madball or newer bands like Deadstop are passable or even bring me some enjoyment but the rest doesn't do anything to me. To straight, simple and the whole 'unity, respect and scene' stuff comes across as bland.
Call me shortsighted, but it's not my cup-O-tea.
'Why the hell are you reviewing a Raised Fist-cd then' is probably your legitimate next question. Well, these Swedes are kind of different. It is hardcore, yes, it's quite straight forward, yes. But the way it is presented grabbed my attention with their last album Dedication. A thick, brutal metallish Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, SYL) production, blazing speeds, raging vocals and as icing on the cake, a balls out closing track which thrashed away everything in it's wake featuring some Defleshed guest vocals.
So how's the new one then? Even grittier and more brutal? Well, for starters it again features an ultra heavy Bergstrand production which almost has become a trademark for these Swedes. Musically we're in a different kind of league. The music is more varied, with grinding slow tempo's, here and there some spacy effects, and of course the blazing hardcore we've come to know and love with a metallic sauce.
It doesn't necessarily make it a better album, because the main reason I liked the last effort
so much was because of it's brutality. Then again, the musical progression is a welcome one and certainly a big plus. One thing that bugged me a little last album, and is bugging me again are the vocals. The one pitch, no variation barking vocals are an acquired taste and while they do have the desired aggressive effect, they still tend to get on my nerves a little. In line with the musical progression there of course is some vocal variation, but the aggressive bark could also have varied maybe a little. Ah well, it's a matter of personal taste so it's a minor complaint.
So, if you like your hardcore modern, brutal with a thick metallic sonic sauce then you probably already know this band. If your a metalhead who hates hardcore, maybe you'll like this anyway. I sure know I did.
2. Perfectly Broken (3:11)
3. Sunlight (3:01)
4. Sound Of The Republic (2:52)
5. Killing It (3:27)
6. Back (2:35)
7. Hertz Island Escapades (2:40)
8. Some Of These Times (3:37)
9. Nation Of Incomplete (2:23)
10. And Then They Run (3:38)
11. Bleed Under My Pen (2:28)
12. Time Will Let You Go, All Alone, I Break (3:55)
Daniel - Guitar
Josse - Bass
Alle - Vocals
Matte - Drums