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WAKE THE DEAD

WALLS OF JERICHO

UNDER THE MASK

NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF

(Demons Run Amok)

(Napalm)

New album from this French melodic hardcore group.

7/10

W

ake The Dead have been bashing out their Comeback Kid, Have Heart, Defeater influenced melodic hardcore punk since 2010 and have toured across an astonishing amount of countries covering several continents. Hailing from Marseille in France the band have two new members, a drummer and vocalist who seem to have seamlessly blended into the band making themselves right at home. This is a pretty angry record in most places but has moments of grandness on tracks like ‘Song Of Storm’ which is metallic in sound and with a huge vocal chorus. There’s quite a bit of variance in each song and its evident a lot of thought has gone into the writing process here. It’s unashamedly modern in sound and offers plenty of different sonic diversity to keep the listener enthralled. Paul Davies

No frills comeback from metalcore stars.

6/10

A

fter being out of the game for 8 years, Walls of Jericho have returned with an album focussed on what they do best – early 00’s metalcore. Double bass drums lock in with staccato riffs and screamed statements of intent precede metallic breakdowns whilst vocalist Candace rallies the troops with motivational messages throughout. There’s been some variation in sound over the band’s 5 albums but aside from the sung, orchestral string-backed, Probably Will, the new release does away with any previous musical flourishes to bring everything back to basics. This results in a few more metalcore clichés being thrown into the mix than we would’ve liked (a couple of breakdowns sound more than little familiar) but it’s unlikely that this will deter fans of the band (or fans of this style in general) from digging the new record. Tom Barry

POLAR

NO CURE NO SAVIOUR (Prosthetic)

Guildford post-hardcore quintet’s savage third album.

B

7/10

uilding on 2014’s ‘Shadowed By Vultures’, it’s clear that ‘No Cure No Saviour’ is a leap forward for POLAR. Opener ‘Blood For Blood’ sets out their stall, with pounding hardcore combining with intense, emotional soaring sections, but all in an organic way that’s powerful and effective. It sounds simply crushing, with the recording and engineering handled by Justin Hill (Rise To Remain, SiKth). Adam ‘Woody’ Woodford’s vocals sound versatile and mighty throughout, with gang vocals and monstruous riffs adding to the layers. It’s perhaps unsurprising that POLAR are touring with Boysetsfire in June, as this album has seen them addressing the issue of homelessness and supporting the charity Crisis. “We were looking at the world and current affairs for inspiration,” explains Woodford. “Over our touring career we have seen first-hand the ever-growing issue of people living homeless lives, we feel this is an issue that is close to our hearts and really needs to be highlighted.” Perhaps this is what has fed into song titles such as ‘Lost Souls’ and ‘Downfall’. While the emotional hardcore beatdowns get a little repetitive at times, there’s enough passion to hit home here, and a guest spot from Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld on ‘Deus Ex Machina’ is a nice touch. The likes of ‘Tidal Waves and Hurricanes’ and ‘Lost Souls’ see them at their ripping best, while closer ‘No Saviour’ is a sprawling finale. Epic, heavy and anthemic, POLAR have gone big. El Parry

84 DOWN FOR LIFE

WEEKEND NACHOS APOLOGY (Relapse)

WHATEVER IT TAKES DEATHBLOW (BDHW)

Final and perhaps finest album from this US grind mob.

Belgium quartet bringing back hard into hardcore!

W

i

WOLF DOWN

WORLD BE FREE

8/10

eekend Nachos frontman John Hoffman recently described his band as a cross between Youth Of Today and Carcass, which might sound preposterous on paper, but isn’t a million miles from the truth when you consider the unhinged delivery, the hyper speed, and the thick dense tones... yes, it’s grindcore – but not as we know it. There’s a pure hardcore energy that elevates this above its peers, a flailing manic vibe very reminiscent of that UKHC scene pioneered by the likes of Napalm Death and Doom. This is furious filthy fun, and it’s such a shame they’re splitting after this album, but at least they get to go out at the top of their game. So long, farewell and thanks for all the grinding noise Weekend Nachos, no need to apologise. Ian Glasper

INCITE AND CONSPIRE (End Hits)

Hardcore for the barricades.

8/10

W

ith high end production and slick artwork, it’s clear Wolf Down are focussed on getting their message to the masses on this latest release. DFL will always love a bit of anarcho-punk but it’s definitely a refreshing change to hear strongly political lyrics up front and clear in the mix (as opposed to buried in a far crustier musical serving). Environmentalism, social inequality, and animal rights are amongst the subjects addressed by new vocalist Dave, all backed up with big fist-pumping tracks like, Flames of Discontent, and offering a real alternative to some of the more vapid lyrical posturing bandied about by their peers. Continuing the journey they started with founding singer Larissa (currently on vocal duties for Venom Prison), Wolf Down can undoubtedly look forward to winning over quite a few more believers to the cause on the strength of their latest record. Tom Barry

7/10

s what the cover sticker denotes, and thankfully these heavy weight bruisers certainly do dish it out. If you are looking for sensitive embellishment, then Whatever It Takes no nonsense pounding is not for you. The abusive tone of street filled lyrics certainly backs up the brutal guitar riff and hammers home a real sense of visceral aggression, angst, and pissed off expression. This four-piece engage a true European sound combining U.S. elements of Hatebreed and Biohazard but without losing their own credibility. Whatever It Takes manage to keep it heavy yet escape having too many metalcore fundamentals in the equation, the focus is on a big sound and plenty of groove-ladden sing-a-long parts; this I am sure will have any audience moving. Mark Freebase

THE ANTI CIRCLE (Revelation)

A hardcore super-group that’s spectacularly super.

9/10

O

nce a phenomenon of the 70s, the super-group was often the product of bloated uninspired rock stars in search of further cash. World Be Free, however, is a collective of musicians all motivated by their love of the initial hardcore punk explosion and this, their debut album, oozes with passion and excitement for the music they love so much. Featuring members of Gorilla Biscuits, Terror, CIV and Strife, these 14 tracks plug directly into the roots of hardcore, before it became weighed down in chugging metal riffs and macho posturing. Every moment captures the joy and energy of bands like Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Gorilla Biscuits and those amazing early Revelation Records releases and if this album doesn’t pump you full of energy then you probably never loved the music in the first place. James Sherry

Profile for Big Cheese Publishing

DOWN FOR LIFE #1 SICK OF IT ALL