Withdrawal - Faith, Flesh & Blood
2011, A389 Recordings
Withdrawal makes writing good music seem easy. They pull it off so effortlessly and painlessly it seems like second nature to these guys to hammer out anthem after anthem of massive and emotional metallic hardcore. I've been eagerly awaiting this ep for a what seems like quite some time now, though it's probably only been a few weeks since I first heard of its impending release. I immediately fell in love with the music of these Canadians after hearing their Unknown Misery ep and I just couldn't wait to get my hands on more material by them. Because of the truly magnificent song writing the band so consistently displays and the sheer force of their metal-infused hardcore, Withdrawal (in my mind at least) stand way above the brunt of their contemporary peers in this particular genre.
Their last ep was one of the best examples I have ever heard of the modern style of hardcore that blends different flavours of metal with traditional punk/hardcore structures, bringing to mind such classic acts as Integrity, Lash Out and Rorschach and the like. But, what Withdrawal does, is to take that particular style of hardcore and make it their own, bringing their own set of inluences into the mix.
This last effort is no different. On FF&B they clearly continue on the path set upon on Unknown Misery: the melodies are there, but slightly more up front and apparent, the dry machine gun-like Slayer-ish riffing more solidly integrated into the songs, supported by short vicious solo licks and great, heavy, midpaced drumming, solidly placed into the heart of the song structures and the vocal lines always a bit more metal than hardcore: I keep thinking Swedish old school d-beat influenced death metal for some reason.
The production here is several notches above that of their previous release; it's way heavier and much clearer, as well as having a distinct feeling of cohesiveness, where all the elements meld together into something much more solid. I can't say enough good things about this release; I only wish it could have been a tad longer, because what these four tracks do is only to whet my appetite for more. Maybe it's time to consider writing a proper full length release, guys. Oh and I really enjoyed that awesome nod to Tragedy's Conflicting Ideas in the drum intro to Blood Law.