There are several ways to start off on the wrong foot with me as a band. One of the absolute worst things you could do is cite Hatebreed as a major influence to your artistic development. Thatís not starting one foot in the grave, thatĎs being half an inch from sealing the casket door. Well, Germanyís latest export is Maroon, attempting to launch themselves into the American market with their album Endorsed By Hate. Fitting, really, because thatís the emotion I feel towards this band for stepping inside a recording studio. Iím sure plenty of kids here in the states will eat this stuff up, but for anybody with any sort of discriminating taste, donít even look in this album's direction.
After the first track, which is just noise, the album begins with "The Worlds Havoc." The song starts with a gunshot, which already had me annoyed, and then they proceeded to launch into the very same riff played by more metalcore bands than I can even hope to count. Itís not horrible, hell, I caught myself tapping my
foot at a few different points, but itís as far away from original as a band can be.
None of the album's tracks offer any sort of variation. Youíve got your fast parts, youíve got your slow parts, and what would any of it be without breakdowns? Yep, theyíre there too. Thatís whatís so frustrating: competent musicians who
refuse to deviate from the same crap that thousands of other bands are doing. Thereís only so many times I can here double bass, then some growled vocals, and find it impressive. And those times stopped a few years ago.
To continue with the clichťd feel of this album are the points scattered throughout where things slow down, so they can put a melodic interlude in to really show how diverse they are! For a shining example of this, check out the track "At The Gates Of Demise;" deep title by the way. About three minutes through the song, the guitar breaks, and thereís some spoken word over the drums. Hereís the profound lyrical content: "Take this blade, to your wrist / Forget, all your doubt.Ē How do bands get away with writing this bad? Honestly, what the fuck. I donít even care to make an attempt to look into the lyrics any further than that, because if thatís any indication, I could find 9-year-olds with better writing skill. Sadly, not an exaggeration.
The vocals are nothing you havenít heard in one of the thousands of metalcore bands jocking this same style, with some heavy growling, and then some half-assed screaming once in a while. Itís so tired, and so lacking in any sort of passion, that I canít even give them credit for trying.
For a band thatís supposed to deliver ďthe delicate balance of technicality and brutal delivery,Ē this band accomplishes neither of their goals. Thereís no technicality here whatsoever. Itís the same lazy delivery of recycled tired chords and breakdowns that I wouldnít be surprised if they were stolen from Hatebreed
To make things even worse, they feel the need to throw in some acoustic guitar for an intro and an outro on an instrumental track, which is actually the best song on the album. It couldnít possibly sound more forced. The track itself is less forgettable than most of the others, but the wholly unnecessary use of acoustic guitar ruins any sort of value the song had.
I honestly tried to find some redeeming value here, but thereís just absolutely none. Boring music, boring vocals, and quite possibly the most atrocious lyrics Iíve yet to come across. Please, go back to Germany.