Strife - Angermeans (Cover Artwork)


Angermeans (2001)


Hardcore is invariable linked with metal. Ever since Black Flag unleashed My War, a sludgefest with anguished riffs moving like molasses, hardcore has forever been divided with two distinct influences, punk and metal. Strife is heavily influenced by the latter. With technical leads on "Life Stained Red," "From These Graves," and "Mon Bel Ami" – the influence is obvious.

But angermeans isn't only driveling lead guitar bravado, it features deliberately heavy chugga-chugga guitar and breakneck drumming on "Mine Alone." Strife also evolved a bit past many of their peers, adding slight piano and strings parts to "Angel Wings," the album's best track, and a drum machine to "Staring at the Sky."

Lyricist Rick Rodney words are vague yet still moving. They lack the biting cynicism of Sam McPheeters, but still conveys great emotion and feeling on songs like "Rise Again," with "I refuse to give in/I will not be defeated." If you still enjoy furious finger pointing and fondly recall the days of your crew, angermeans is the perfect album, while others may feel it is even a bit too metallic to be a guilty pleasure.