Withdrawal - Unknown Misery
This canadian piece of seven inch hardcore gold isn't exactly brand new. In fact it was released back in 09 on Wendigo Records, a label I know next to nothing about, but the music imprinted in its grooves it is so astoundingly good I find it impossible to not write about it. Withdrawal plays fast, aggressive metallic hardcore, closely related in style and content to that old holy terror hardcore style, made famous by bands such as Integrity and Rindgworm and more recently Rot In Hell. The band rages through five tracks in just under twelve minutes and in that short time they manage to mix things up really well. They seamlessly integrate the metallic parts into the hardcore ones that one never really notices any change in style. Awesome bass runs and perfect guitar work make up the basis for the songs, which range from fast hardcore/metal to slow double bass-drum rumbling slayer-esque metal. In fact alot of the riffing and structural style on these songs remind me alot of Slayer, especially the title track which oozes Slayer circa South Of Heaven. Sporadic melodic parts and nice little shifts break up the otherwise unrelenting tempo and lets the songs breathe abit. I can't stress enough how fucking amazing this record is. If you're into shredding metallic hardcore or hybridized thrash metal this should be just right up your alley. I'm really looking forward to their upcoming Faith, Flesh & Blood EP on A389 Recordings soon.
Oathbreaker - Oathbreaker
According to the sparse info I've found on the www.internet.web, Belgian hardcore outfit Oathbreaker rose from the ashes of band called No Recess and quickly signed on with Deathwish Records, who released this gem back 2008. Presented on this self-titled EP are five grooveladen tracks of fast and heavy hardcore with a big dose of melody and metal infused into it's pulsating heart. Two things quickly stand out when you listen to this records. First: the craftmanship of the songs themselves; the fluidity of the tracks, the inventive riffing and the abundant melody. Second: the vicious vocals of female singer Caro. She perfectly counterbalances the masculinity of the songs with her raspy, not-quite-high-pitched voice. Another thing that surprises me is that of the five songs, two of them are in fact instrumentals (well, I guess opener Mindless could be counted as an intro), and they are simply amazing. I love how the band manages to infuse melody into the songs to the degree that they do without ever losing sight of the aggression and brutality on which the songs depend. At times I get quite a heavy Integrity-vibe off some of the songs, especially the chugging midtempo-rager Downfall. Productionwise this is close to perfect. All the instrumentation is clearly audible and the vocals aren't buried too deep in the mix and aren't too much in your face either. I definately want to hear more from the guys and girl.