This six-song EP showcases two interesting bands in Hardcore: Fordirelifesake from Detroit and Deluge out of the Netherlands.
Fordirelifesake starts out the EP with their brand of technically impressive, solo-based Hardcore. Their guitar acrobatics are simply amazing with both guitarists wailing away at hyper-speed into technical breakdowns, only to go back into overdrive with another dual riff assault. It really makes you wonder how this is recreated live when the guitarists launch solo after solo. The one drawback to this dynamic is that it often overpowers the other instruments (including the vocals) but when the riffs are this complex and good, there really is not much room to complain. They also have some pretty weird and interesting guitar effects that being a guitarist myself, I could not help but wonder how they were done.
Vocally, the band sticks to the usual singing/screaming dynamic that is appropriate if not a bit average. Thankfully, the melodic vocals sound well and come in at the right moments, and the throat ripping is not too over-the-top. The rhythm section shines with plenty of key moments, particularly with some of the bass lines. Lyrically, it is also a relief the band strays away from the girl-done-me-wrong subject and focuses on introspective, philosophical issues. Overall, I found it pretty refreshing to hear a band that emphasizes melody instead of sheer brutality in these Metalcore-infested days.
Deluge is perhaps the only band I have ever heard out of the Netherlands and they were also very enjoyable to listen to. My only complain is that their second track is a very brief instrumental offering over some voice samples, which is kind of a letdown when you have a recording that is only six songs in length. It would have been nice to hear a little bit more of what Deluge has to offer.
The most interesting aspect I found is the band's affinity for somber melodies. Deluge begins their share of the EP with a little bit of piano (frequent throughout their songs) before pummeling the listener, which is superbly done. Their sound has a raw, live quality to it that gives you the impression this is one of those bands that sounds exactly the same live as they do in recording. There is a noticeable absence of melodic vocals, but the lead singer does a pretty decent job barking away ferociously. The guitar work is pretty inventive with its fair share of technicality. The rhythm section sounds pretty capable, but I really found it difficult to give a more detailed description of their sound with only two actual tracks. Overall, they have a more straight-forward approach to Hardcore than Fordirelifesake but they are still an exemplary offering of the genre.
Even for an EP, the recording is a little short but it is still worth the money. Hardcore fans cannot go wrong with checking out both of these bands or tracking down their respective full-lengths. I expect great things from both in the future.