Metalcore. A genre so many fans of heavy music have gravitated towards over the past few years, but with so many generic, carbon-copy, one hit wonders plaguing the metal scene in more recent times it has become a genre that many now approach with much reservation. Fear not metallers, the Facing The Gallows / Dead Will Tell split EP, This is Hate City might just restore your faith in ‘The Other Side Of Metal’. Judging from the aesthetics of the CD packaging, designed by Godmachine, the intention is made clear, these dudes are out to impress. And they do just that!
First up is Facing The Gallows. Straight away, the intro sets the mood for the EP and the listener knows what to expect: metal riffs and hardcore breakdowns! But it’s not until half way through their offering with the songs like “The Rat” and “Shades of Shame” that I sit back and take note as the EP erupts into metallic hardcore perfection.
I think the Dead Will Tell can really take pride in the fact that I have yet to discover another band playing this brand of metal with such technical brilliance and passion. Opening songs “This Only Condition” and “Consume” simply re-inforce this statement and they stick to this formula to the the very last note of their four-song contribution as “Broken View” brings This Is Hate City to an end.
Initially I greeted this release with anxious anticipation. Although a concern of the past, we often have high expectations of a band when they enter the studio and whether the production is going to be up to standard, and here in SA we have a habit of comparing our bands to international bands we admire. This is Hate City is of that standard, right from the packaging, to the to the songwriting and technical ability of the musicians, to the production. I do however have to admit that on first listen I did expect to hear a slightly fuller sound as my ears begged for some lower end to come through on the guitars.
These guys aren’t breaking any new ground, and I’m not entirely sure whether this release will convert some of the more traditional metal listeners or not, but these two bands can can definitely stand their ground and hold their own, knowing that not only have they given us a damn fine release in This Is Hate City, they’ve brought passion and a good time back into heavy music too.