Final Conflict - Ashes to Ashes [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Final Conflict

Final Conflict: Ashes to Ashes [reissue]Ashes to Ashes [reissue] (2005)
SOS Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Most people look upon bands like Converge and Integrity for spawning what we would eventually come to know as metalcore. And in many rights, that's true. Those two bands took the mix of metal and hardcore to places never before envisioned. At the same time, however, it's important to see that even t.
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Most people look upon bands like Converge and Integrity for spawning what we would eventually come to know as metalcore. And in many rights, that's true. Those two bands took the mix of metal and hardcore to places never before envisioned. At the same time, however, it's important to see that even those to bands were preceded by several in the `80s that primitively put those two genres together in their very own way.

Though lesser known than their peers in Discharge, Final Conflict is one such band, and their combination of political diatribes with an infectious punk rock spirit is a formidable one.

While not exactly a â??metalcore' band by current description, there is no denying of their integration of metal riffs and tempos into their hardcore punk attack. It may not seem that striking at first, but a close listen will reveal many instances throughout the course of the record that a traditional punk tempo is thrown into a whirlwind of quick riffing and pounding drum fills. "What Kind of Future" begins awash in waves of distortion, as did a lot of hardcore punk from the `80s, but it is soon apparent that Final Conflict mean business as the riffs turn from relatively tame to an all out onslaught of speed and frenzied vocals. Speed isn't the entire name of the game though, as they're able to match the tempo of that track with slower efforts like "Shattered Mirror" and have it take nothing off the intensity.

As great as the music itself is, a lot of what I like about the record centers around the social and political nature of its lyrics. It's something really not seen as much with hardcore this decade, but in the `80s, most bands of this ilk had some sort of message to get across. Naturally some were more intelligent and well-conveyed than others, but the bottom line of it is that they tried. Final Conflict were one of those bands that had a natural way with words. "How long must we stay silent? And watch our future be taken away from us / Powers haven't begun to realize how deadly / The weapons are that they possess. I'm tired of living in fear of a nuclear confrontation." Those words echo the sentiments of many that lived through the tense years of the cold war, and are effectively driven home by the conviction of the band. Many other such instances of intelligence and speaking out are present on the record, giving that much more gravity to what music's being played.

In addition to the original recording, SOS Records have been kind enough to include eight bonus tracks on this reissue, including covers of the Damned and U.K. Subs.

Listening to today's metalcore, it may be tough to realize the genre ever had a purpose, but I'm glad recordings like this are being reissued to show that a time existed where being in a band meant more than having a platform in which to put your junior high journal to power chords.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anchors (January 14, 2007)

They're extremely hard to find, but I still wouldn't put them with that genre. Stuff like Embrace, Mohinder, Honeywell, and early Gravity bands were considered 'emo,' at the time, as it was a good 5-6 years before 'screamo' came about.

SlowStupidHungry (January 13, 2007)

I never said they did, I said they're generally considered more part of that wave since their releases in the 80's and early 90's are hard to find. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anchors (January 13, 2007)

I'm not even going to get into this with you, but I'd like to at least point out Converge originated in 1989 and had absolutely nothing to do with screamo whatsoever.

SlowStupidHungry (January 13, 2007)

Final Conflict weren't really peers of Discharge. They came after them and basically ran with Discharge's sound.

As feeding noted, this music has zilch to do with metal"core" or whatever. At the time, bands like Discharge were not as "metal," but hardcore punk, and bands like Metallica and Slayer were the ones ripping off the hardcore sound. I actually think Husker Du's early stuff and the first Die Kreuzen album could be more accurately compared to the sound of metallic hardcore. But the modern "metalcore" sound is more derived from that time in the late 80's/early 90's when hardcore bands were experimenting with more influences and dynamics- Moss Icon, Rorschach, Born Against etc. If I'm not mistaken, Converge formed around the time that wave was pretty much dying and giving way to more standardized "avant hardcore" (screamo).

As for Final Conflict, they are pretty much crusty HC.

johann1982 (January 13, 2007)

This is one of the best Hardcore albums of all time.
Bands like Converge and whoever shouldn't even be mentioned.
They sound like a mix of Discharge and maybe RKL.
I have the LP on Pusmort and it rules, with extra booklet too.
The album that came out in the late 90's was okay but nowhere as good as this.
Dunno about the new album....how many OG members are even left? Just Jeff Harp?

Anchors (January 12, 2007)

I mean modern metalcore as with Converge, or a couple years ago I could have cited Botch, This Day Forward, or going back further stuff like Harvest and Threadbare.

That kind of metalcore, not My Dying Day's Bleeding Winter.. ect.

feeeding5000 (January 12, 2007)

Truly awesome, although I don't see what crossover/ thrashcore has to do with modern metalcore. It has more akin to what a lot of the more "progressive" crust/hardcore bands are playing.

Anonymous (January 12, 2007)

i had this in high school. it was good for the d-beat hardcore punk.

Anonymous (January 12, 2007)

Why would they name their band "Final Conflict" when there is a legendary band in roughly the same style of music called "Conflict" - how unoriginal. But their music is good.

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