Maroon - Endorsed By Hate (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Endorsed By Hate (2004)


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. That's not starting one foot in the grave, that‘s being half an inch from sealing the casket door. Well, Germany's latest export is Maroon, attempting to launch themselves into the American market with their album Endorsed By Hate. Fitting, really, because that's the emotion I feel towards this band for stepping inside a recording studio. I'm sure plenty of kids here in the states will eat this stuff up, but for anybody with any sort of discriminating taste, don't 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. It's not horrible, hell, I caught myself tapping my foot at a few different points, but it's as far away from original as a band can be.

None of the album's tracks offer any sort of variation. You've got your fast parts, you've got your slow parts, and what would any of it be without breakdowns? Yep, they're there too. That's what's so frustrating: competent musicians who refuse to deviate from the same crap that thousands of other bands are doing. There's 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 clichéd 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 there's some spoken word over the drums. Here's the profound lyrical content: "Take this blade, to your wrist / Forget, all your doubt." How do bands get away with writing this bad? Honestly, what the fuck. I don't even care to make an attempt to look into the lyrics any further than that, because if that's any indication, I could find 9-year-olds with better writing skill. Sadly, not an exaggeration.

The vocals are nothing you haven't 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. It's so tired, and so lacking in any sort of passion, that I can't even give them credit for trying.

For a band that's supposed to deliver "the delicate balance of technicality and brutal delivery," this band accomplishes neither of their goals. There's no technicality here whatsoever. It's the same lazy delivery of recycled tired chords and breakdowns that I wouldn't be surprised if they were stolen from Hatebreed themselves.

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 couldn't 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 there's just absolutely none. Boring music, boring vocals, and quite possibly the most atrocious lyrics I've yet to come across. Please, go back to Germany.